For the Team of Choice, Saturday’s Absa Premiership clash at the Makhulong Stadium against Highlands Park will be primarily about the result, rather than attractive football.
Maritzburg United have five matches to play this season in the league and are determined to claim as many as possible of the 15 available points on offer.
They head into Saturday’s showdown in Tembisa (15h00 kick off) on the back of a morale-boosting come-from-behind 2-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic in their most recent action.
And so while there will be optimism in the United camp, head coach Eric Tinkler has cautioned his men that they’ll need to be ready to scrap for every ball against the Lions of the North, who are lying 10th on the table, one point off a top eight spot.
The mood is obviously very good. Which is what we need at this stage. But at the same time the players know the importance of us going to Highlands and getting the three points,” coach Eric explained.
“I think this is probably going to be our toughest game just because of the brand of football they play, it’s very aggressive. Lots of aerial challenges and a lot of importance on winning the second ball.
“This is not a match where we can look to play some pretty football, we are going to have to play ugly.
“Preparation is going good. It’s just about keeping the boys motivated and up for the game with the right mindset.”
Long-term injury absentee Keagan Buchanan is the only player not available for Maritzburg this weekend.
The first round encounter between the two sides ended in a 2-2 draw in the KZN Capital City. Overall, the teams have met four times, with two draws and one victory each.
Former Maritzburg defender Bevan Fransman is likely to line up for the hosts on Saturday, while up front, Mothobi Mvala has been their danger-man this season and has eight league goals.
Maritzburg will be looking to take the momentum from the second half of their game against Celtic – when Allan Kateregga sparked a revival with two superb goals, into the match in Tembisa.