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Gavin Hunt often expresses his unstinting respect and admiration for veteran AmaZulu coach Clive Barker.
But that will be set aside when the sides meet in a Telkom Knockout last-16 match at Princess Magogo Stadium at 3pm on Sunday, especially as the league champions - once known for their prolific cup pedigree - have not won any cups in a while.
The clash brings back some bitter memories for Matsatsantsa a Pitori, who were whipped by Barker's boys in their second round league match here last seasons, which they still remember vividly.
At their training session yesterday, Hunt was horrified that Liberian Anthony Laffor and Swazi international Dennis Masina came back injured from international outings, while Morgan Gould and Katlego Mashego had still not reported back.
"It upsets me, but is no train smash really. It is a tough draw as AmaZulu are a physical and good side with an excellent coach, but we will do our best," said Hunt.
Winger Daine Klate and Elias Pelembe are the players often involved in the club's build-ups.
Klate said he expected a bruising fight this weekend.
"AmaZulu have a great coach but we have prepared well. We will stand our ground too," he said.
Defender Bongani Khumalo said their hosts will be firing from the first second, requiring a lot of focus from United.
"We just have to stop them from scoring and play to our strengths," he said.
Usuthu Assistant coach Neil Tovey is resting his hopes on Sean Dundee, Myron Shongwe and Bradley Ritson.
"We have not played regularly, but are nevertheless gearing up against United. We have options available," he said.