Bucs, Maritzburg look to be top dog of PSL
THERE is a clear motivation for both Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United that whoever wins tonight will enjoy ruling at the summit of the PSL log this weekend.
The Team of Choice host the Buccaneers Harry Gwala Stadium tonight on joint log standings with seven points early in the season.
Whoever comes out top will end the weekend at the summit at the log, no matter what happens in other matches.
Both teams have shown early form having won two and drawing one in their opening matches of the new season.
Pirates come into this match on the back of a 1-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday, while Maritzburg had to settle for a draw against AmaZulu.
Maritzburg coach Fadlu Davids said he plans to make “some adjustments” ahead of the Pirates game to refresh the side.
“We’ve had three games in six days before the Fifa break, now we have three games in six days again,” Davids said.
“We can’t play with the same team every week, we have to make changes and we have to freshen up and go with the new set.
“We’ve got fantastic boys from the Diski team and a few of them will be playing against Pirates.”
With both teams yet to taste defeat this season in the league, Davids is expecting an end-to-end encounter as both sides will look to maintain their momentum.
“Bucs don’t sit back and defend, we also don’t do that and I expect a high-intensity game. We have to analyse them and see what plan we come with.”
The Buccaneers however, are not yet an oiled machine – despite winning two of their three matches. But they have shown glimpses of improvement under new coach Milutin Sredojevic.
There is no doubt that this match against Maritzburg will be by far their biggest test for Sredojevic.
“There is no better way of gaining confidence and lifting the quality of performance of football and also results than when winning becomes a habit. Once you achieve that, things will go the way you want,” Sredojevic said.
“The players really want to turn the corner. They work hard and want to prove a point that they are not by accident at the club.
“This is my personal evaluation that I have seen and I feel honoured and privileged being their coach because when you see someone showing the signs of really wanting to work, it’s pleasing.”
Wayne Sandilands has been the difference between the poles for the Buccaneers – compared to last season’s goalkeeping department. December 2016: Maritzburg United won 2-1 January 2016: Draw: 3- all May 2015: Draw: 1- all May 2014: Orlando Pirates won 2-1 November 2013: Orlando Pirates won 1-0
HANDS ON: Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.