Maritzburg, Pirates in top of table clash

Maritzburg United will play host to Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.

Kick-off is at 8:00pm.

The Team of Choice are coming off a 1-1 draw with AmaZulu in their previous Absa Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Tuesday night.

Mohau Mokate netted for Maritzburg, who are still placed at the top of league log with seven points from three games. They are ahead of second-placed Orlando Pirates on goal difference.

Meanwhile, Pirates recorded a 1-0 win over Ajax Cape Town in a league match at the Orlando Stadium with Bernard Morrison scoring on Tuesday night.

The hard-fought victory took the Buccaneers to position two on league table with seven points from three matches. They are a point above third-placed Mamelodi Sundowns.

Possible starting line-ups:

Maritzburg United: Ofori, Fransman, Sanoka, Xulu, Weidlich, Mekola, Shandu, Maboe, Ndlovu, Mokate, Rusike.

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Dube, Matlaba, Maela, Jele, Nyauza, Nyatama, Qalinge, Makola, Morrison, Gabuza.

Head-to-Head

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2012/13 Maritzburg 1-2 Pirates Malajila; Manyisa, Jali

2012/13 Pirates 2-3 Maritzburg Segolela, Masuku; Isaacks, de Jongh, Malajila

2013/14 Maritzburg 0-1 Pirates Mbesuma

2013/14 Pirates 1-0 Maritzburg Pelembe

2014/15 Pirates 1-2 Maritzburg Erasmus; Anas 2

2014/15 Maritzburg 1-1 Pirates Mekoa; Erasmus

2015/16 Maritzburg 3-3 Pirates M. Cele, Rusike, Onyango; Rakhale, Matlaba, Erasmus

2015/16 Pirates 0-0 Maritzburg

2016/17 Maritzburg 2-1 Pirates Fransman, Onyango; Nkosi

2016/17 Pirates 2-0 Maritzburg Gcaba, Wome

LEAGUE RECORD (since 2005/06)

Home P W D L GF GA

Maritzburg 11 4 2 5 15 16

Pirates 11 6 3 2 14 8

Away P W D L GF GA

Maritzburg 11 2 3 6 8 14

Pirates 11 5 2 4 16 15

Total P W D L GF GA

Maritzburg 22 6 5 11 23 30

Pirates 22 11 5 6 30 23

What are the teams saying

Maritzburg United defender Bevan Fransman:

"Well, Pirates are obviously confident after defeating Ajax in their previous league match in midweek. It was a good result for them and it is also a confidence booster for them," he said.

"We always look foward to such matches. Our matches against Pirates at home are always interesting and exciting.

"We will be ready for them. We have a few things that we need to work on before the game. It's a big match for us."

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic:

“There is no better way of gaining confidence than lifting the quality of performance and winning, so it becomes your habit," he said.

"The players must give their best in every match and broaden their horizons, then things will go our way.”

"It’s always good to come back from a break and start with a win. The things we were not good at we corrected. This is good ahead of our game against Maritzburg.”

Maritzburg United key players

Denis Weidlich: The German defender has been done well thus far for the Team of Choice this season. The new Maritzburg captain, who can play both in defence and midfield, will be hoping to lead his side to victory over the Buccaneers.

Mohau Mokate: The hard-working marksman was one of the Team of Choice's best performers against AmaZulu. The striker will be looking open his scoring account for this season and help his side continue their good form in the league.

Orlando Pirates key players

Happy Jele: The experienced defender made his return to the Pirates starting line-up against Ajax. The 30-year-old player will be keen to ensure that Bucs keep a clean sheet against the Team of Choice.

Bernard Morrison: The Ghanaian forward is oozing with confidence after netting his first goal for the Buccaneers against Ajax. The former AS Vita Club star will be keen to maintain his good form for the Soweto giants and help them move to the top of the log.