Polokwane City out to continue rise

Polokwane City will be out to build on their good run of form in the Absa Premiership when they play host to Maritzburg United at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Wednesday evening.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm.

Rise and Shine extended their unbeaten run in the league to four matches with a goalless stalemate at home to Kaizer Chiefs late last month. The Limpopo side, though, have been in Telkom Knockout Cup action since, beating Orlando Pirates in the quarterfinals before suffering defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic in the final four.

Polokwane City , though, have yet to win at home in the league this season, claiming a mere three points from five matches as hosts.

Head coach Bernard Molekwa will thus be desperate for his side to register a first three points on home soil this term, as they turn attention back to Absa Premiership action.

The Team of Choice rip-roaring start to the campaign is long forgotten with a 1-0 loss away to Siwelele stretching their unbeaten run to sixth matches. As a result, the the KwaZulu-Natal club now hover in the lower reaches of the log table.

Fadlu Davids will be hopeful that his troops can do the job on the road having picked up one win, two draws - suffering just one defeat - on their travels this season.

City, though, boast an unbeaten home record against United, with two wins and two draws from four turns as hosts. In total, Rise and Shine are unbeaten in their last five league matches against the Team of Choice, a sequence which includes four wins.

Predicted Starting 11:

Polokwane City: Chigova, Semenya, Ravhuhali, Mbonani, Maponyane, Seabi, Phiri,, Klaas, Ramagalela, Maluleke, Ndou.

Maritzburg United: Ofori, Onyango, Fransman, Xulu, Ndlovu, Mokate, Maboe, Shandu, Atouba, Mekoa, Rusike.

Head-to-Head Statistics:

ALL LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2013/14 Maritzburg 1-0 Polokwane Mohammed

2013/14 Polokwane 1-1 Maritzburg Jembula; Isaacks (pen)

2014/15 Maritzburg 2-1 Polokwane Mokate, Mngonyama; Tlolane

2014/15 Polokwane 2-1 Maritzburg Alexander, Tlolane; Anas

2015/16 Maritzburg 2-3 Polokwane Anas, Lentjies; Mncwango, Maluleke, Tlolane

2015/16 Polokwane 3-1 Maritzburg Ngidi, Mncwango, Jembula; D. Mekoa

2016/17 Maritzburg 0-1 Polokwane Jembula

2016/17 Polokwane 1-1 Maritzburg Maluleke (pen); Mokate

LEAGUE RECORD (since 2013/14)

Home

P W D L GF GA

Polokwane 4 2 2 0 7 4

Maritzburg 4 2 0 2 5 5

Away

P W D L GF GA

Polokwane 4 2 0 2 5 5

Maritzburg 4 0 2 2 4 7

Total

P W D L GF GA

Polokwane 8 4 2 2 12 9

Maritzburg 8 2 2 4 9 12

What They Said:

Polokwane City defender Walter Maponyane

“I think we have gotten over what happened on the weekend, it is back to league action in midweek and we have to forget about the cup and focus on the league,” said Maponyane.

“Our run in the cup helped, and we have gained some good momentum despite the defeat. We just have to convert that confidence into the league now.

“We are playing at home, I don’t think it will be a high scoring game - we just have to tighten up the defence and I am confident we can build on our good run. We just have to convert draws into wins.”

Maritzburg United midfielder Bandile Shandu

“I watched them [Polokwane City] against Celtic in the TKO, and they are a good team, you can’t take them for granted, you can’t take them lightly, because they will punish you,” said Shandu.

"We have huge respect for them, but we are going to work our socks off. It’s going to be a fight for every single ball, every single challenge, and we are up for it. When we leave the field, we must know that we gave it our all in the fight for three points."

“We will take one game at a time though, if we look at too big a picture, we could get lost. I think we need that one win, and everything could turn – I don’t think we are far off from the top teams. A win on Wednesday could prove a huge boost for us.”

Key Players:

Polokwane City

Rodney Ramagalela: The hard-running forward has enjoyed a good start to the league season and alongside midfield general Jabulani Maluleke, the duo boast a notable threat. Rise and Shine will be banking on the forward to rattle the back of the net as they set their sights on jumping into the top half of the log standings.

Maritzburg United

Lebohang Maboe: The Team of Choice faithful will be looking to the Gauteng-born playmaker to provide the necessary spark as United aim to bring an end their their winless run. Along with Evans Rusike and Deolin Mekoa, Maritzburg to possess a notable attacking threat - and Fadlu Davids will be counting on his go-forward men to lead the club back on track.