Maritzburg United v Orlando Pirates: Players to watch

It's crunch time in the Nedbank Cup for both Steve Komphela and Vladimir Vermezovic, who will be hoping their players are able to stand up and be counted for a massive semi-final showdown on Saturday night.

There will be no lack of motivation for Maritzburg United as they line-up in a first ever semi-final in club history, while Orlando Pirates too will be desperate to salvage something form what has turned out to be a trophyless season. takes a look at some of the players that could influence the outcome of the clash at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

Terrance Mandaza (Maritzburg United)

The Zimbabwean is presently the second highest goal-scorer in the competition with three goals in his three substitute appearances. Mandaza, who has had just 106 minutes on the park so far, could feature even more prominently now that Thokozani Sekotlong is out injured. The striker has made a significant enough impact off the bench and brings some valuable experience and pace onto the field when opposition legs are tiring late in a game.

Michael Morton (Maritzburg United)

The combative captain has already described the clash as the biggest in his United career. With just a matter of days left in his Team of Choice career - Morton is moving to SuperSport United next season - he will be determined to end on a high. The 25-year-old has a high work-rate and his willingness to lead from the front is second to none. He will have to guard against an early booking , though,as his strong physical approach often lands him in hot water.

Bongolethu Jayiya (Maritzburg United)

A revelation since his arrival on-loan from Bidvest Wits at the start of the year, Jayiya has provided the forward impetus that had been clearly lacking during the first half of the season. His ability to pick a pass or drift into space behind defences cannot be understated. The attacking midfielder, who has four goals and five assist in the Absa Premiership, will have to be closely marshalled by the Buccaneers' defence.

Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates)

The Bafana Bafana wing-back is key to anything that happens down the left channel, both on attack and defence. The fact he was rested for the midweek league clash against Bidvest Wits due to being a yellow card away from suspension, illustrates his importance to the Pirates machine. He provides solidity at the back, while his ability to add numbers going forward, whether it is through crossing or getting in the box, make him a danger.

Daine Klate (Orlando Pirates)

It has not been the best of seasons for the 29-year-old having come off some excellent campaigns for his club in the recent past. However, like many other experienced players in the Pirates team, he will be keen to show he is still one of the best wingers in South Africa. Along with Oupa Manyisa, the club's leading goal-scorer in 2013/14, Klate remains a dangerman. His pin-point crossing, pace and dead-ball skill can work wonders on his day.

Kermit Erasmus (Orlando Pirates)

With just four goals in their last seven games, only two of which have come from strikers, the Bucs attack will clearly be under scrutiny. Erasmus is one man they will be looking to for goals with the former SuperSport man short on form having scored thrice all year. He will be desperate to improve and his physical presence could be a huge factor to unlocking a United defence that will be without a key defender in Mario Booysen.