The Team of Choice take on the Clever Boys in the opening round of the 2019 Telkom Knockout (TKO) at their home fortress on Friday 18 October, 8pm kick off.
Wits are amongst the front-runners in the league this season and will provide Maritzburg with a stern test.
But with the loyal supporters of the Team of Choice consistently turning out in big numbers, even more so on Friday nights, United can look to tap into that energy and potentially upset the high-flying Johannesburg outfit.
And with two wins in their last two games in the Absa Premiership, the tie is set up nicely to be a real mouth-watering encounter.
“First and foremost we have come off two good home victories,” Maritzburg head coach Eric Tinkler pointed out. “We’ve started to create a very good record, especially here at home on a Friday night – we’ve gone 14 games at home on a Friday night which we haven’t lost.
“Obviously we would like to keep that momentum going and we would like to build on the two wins in the league and to keep growing that confidence and belief in the squad.
“Winning in the Telkom Knockout and progressing to the next round is only going to boost that confidence.
“Wits is a good team, a strong team – one of the contenders for the league title and they’ve had a very, very good start to the season, so it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be a very, very tough match.
“But if you want to be winning trophies, you’ve got to be able to compete with and beat the best teams. And I think it’s a good opportunity to do that, especially playing at home and after the two wins we’ve had.
“The players need to remain focussed, to understand the importance of getting a positive result, and to be prepared to sacrifice for the good of the team,” he added.
While the league remains the bread and butter for the Team of Choice, a strong cup run can often help to galvanise a team.
And as United showed a couple of years back in reaching the Nedbank Cup final, anything is possible once the momentum starts to go in the right direction.
“You want to go as far as you can – you want to create a winning mentality at the club and one would like to create a bit of history; the club has never won a cup competition and here we have an opportunity to try and change that,” the coach said.
“The players themselves spoke about this at the beginning of the season, we spoke about their individual objectives, and all of them said they would love to win a cup.”
For now, with the FIFA break on the go, Maritzburg have been engaged in some friendly games, with coach Eric having stressed the importance of his players taking these matches seriously and competitively and getting as much as they can out of them.
“We are trying to create consistency in terms of our performances, you know our last two games - Chippa we started the first half well but dropped off in the second half. Baroka we started the first half poorly but got better in the second half. What you want is consistence performances throughout, both halves need to be equal.”
FULL TKO DRAW
Chippa United vs Bloemfontein Celtic
Golden Arrows vs Polokwane City
Orlando Pirates vs Stellenbosch FC
SuperSport United vs Baroka FC
Mamelodi Sundowns vs AmaZulu
Maritzburg United vs Bidvest Wits
Cape Town City vs Kaizer Chiefs
Highlands Park vs Black Leopards