Bucs, Mar­itzburg look to be top dog of PSL

Both have shown early league form, win­ning two and draw­ing one with­out con­ced­ing any de­feat

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - SPORT - NEVILLE KHOZA nevillek@the­newage.co.za

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.

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