While the Team of Choice have been flying high in the Telkom Knockout and are looking forward to the final against Mamelodi Sundowns in a week’s time, their league form has tapered off a bit, with it now being four matches (three draws and one defeat) since they last recorded victory.
In last Sunday’s 0-0 draw with AmaZulu, United arguably played well enough to win the game, but just couldn’t quite make it count in the final third of the field in what were difficult conditions on a bumpy pitch.
Now, with the benefit of a full week to prepare for the outing up in the Limpopo Province, the squad is refreshed and ready to fire on all cylinders.
“Preparations have been good,” said Maritzburg’s New Zealand-born left-back, Dan Morgan.
“We’ve had a lot of games lately in a short space of time, so it’s been good to have those few extra days for the legs to recover and to get ready for the tough away game at Polokwane, we’re looking forward to it.
“We need to get back on track and to winning ways as soon as possible. Obviously we’re not losing a lot of games, but we would like to win a lot more.
“Also as well for the boys to just play positive football, play well, keep the team camaraderie going and get a positive result and hopefully that results in us getting three points.
“We haven’t been playing badly and if we take our chances, then I think we’ll be good to get the three points.”
While the Team of Choice need players to get the ball in the back of the net to win matches, defence also remains crucial, and in this respect, it will be a case of more of the same, for a rearguard which has been in outstanding form this season.
Morgan does however also point out that it’s not only the men at the back who are key in this regard, but the entire team.
“Defence starts from the front,” he explained. “The boys up there have been putting in a good shift and obviously through the midfield they’ve been closing all the options as much as possible.
“And then the back four or five including the goalkeeper have just been working hard to do whatever we can to do our jobs really, that’s what for we’re there for, to shut out teams, I’ve been really impressed with the boys and hope we can continue doing it through the season.”
In the head-to-head record between the two sides, Maritzburg are slightly ahead with seven wins, six defeats and four draws.
Last season they lost the corresponding away fixture 1-0, but did record a 3-1 home win over Rise and Shine.
Polokwane City are currently on a seven-match losing streak in the league, but still managed to score six goals in that period, and remain just a point behind Maritzburg, who are 10th on a tightly-packed league table.