Amakhosi take on the dangerous KwaZulu-Natal side in the already sold-out game at 8pm at Harry Gwala Stadium, the same venue where Maritzburg United will face SuperSport United in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinal next week.
Amakhosi’s preparations have been dented by injury scares to the side that lost 3-2 to Bidvest Wits a week ago when they were knocked out of the cup competition. Tshabalala is doubtful for tonight’s match after picking up a knock in that game. He is also suffering from fatigue after doing national duty for Bafana Bafana.
“It has been a difficult week, considering the number of players that could not train with us due to injuries,” said coach Stuart Baxter.
Another player to have recently landed on the casualty list is defender Jimmy Jambo, who is unlikely to see any action for the remainder of the season after sustaining an ankle injury. He joins Siboniso Gaxa, Morgan Gould, Jimmy Tau and Sakhile Hlongwa on the Chiefs injury list.
The Soweto giants will have to pull out all the stops to keep their unbeaten run intact and consolidate top spot in the Premier Soccer League.
Maritzburg lie fifth on the log with three wins, three draws and one defeat in seven matches so far this season. Ernst Middendorp’s charges have looked dangerous, counting Mamelodi Sundowns among their scalps. Their only defeat was against Wits.
Baxter is, needless to say, wary of the threat posed by the coastal side. “They are a good side – very well organised. They are very strong, especially in the middle. In fact, they have a very good spine. We know that it is going to be a tough game.”
Holding on to their place at the summit of the league table is important to Amakhosi, who are now concentrating on the league after failing yet again to progress in a cup competition.
Baxter said: “The next three or four games are going to be crucial as far as consolidating our position on the log is concerned. This makes the game against Maritzburg United very important.”
- Tomorrow, SuperSport United go in search of their second win of the season when they host sixth-placed Wits at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria at 3.30pm.
Gavin Hunt’s men might be unbeaten, but six of their seven games resulted in draws and they will be wanting nothing less than a win.
Wits still have their tails up after their win over Chiefs last week and beating Lamontville Golden Arrows in their last league game.
- At 6pm, Golden Arrows – under new coach Manqoba Mngqithi – will be hoping for a change of fortune when they host rookies Chippa United at the King Zwelithini Stadium, while Ajax Cape Town face Sundowns at the Cape Town Stadium.
- In another game tomorrow, Moroka Swallows will be up against Black Leopards at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto at 8.15pm