united ready for downs

27 August 2008, Tony Tsabedze of Maritzburg United Ajax Cape Town (Red) 1 Maritzburg United (Yellow) 1, ABSA Premiership, Athlone Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa, ©Gavin Barker/Backpagepix
27 August 2008, Tony Tsabedze of Maritzburg United Ajax Cape Town (Red) 1 Maritzburg United (Yellow) 1, ABSA Premiership, Athlone Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa, ©Gavin Barker/Backpagepix

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Having brought Bloemfontein Celtic back to earth with a 3-1 beating last week, Maritzburg United welcome Mamelodi Sundowns to Chatsworth Stadium tonight.

Gordon Igesund's side thumped Celtic, who had come off a goal fest against Thanda Royal Zulu, and Igesund feels this result showed that the tide is finally turning for them.

He paid tribute to the talents of individual players at Sundowns, but still assured them of a fierce fight in this match that kicks off at 7.30pm.

"Whatever the results, Sundowns will know after the match that they have been playing football," Igesund said.

He expressed some concern about the sending off of his influential players, the latest being Fadlu Davids.

"Before Fadlu it had been Fanyana Dhladhla, Brice Aka and Sphiwe Mkhonza. It is a concern."

Captain Dikilu Bageta is still out injured, so Tony Tsabedze and Lebohang Kukame have a bigger role to play.

Elias Ngwepe and Dhladhla will not play in this match in terms of the agreement United entered into with Downs.

Even with Josta Dladla, Dillon Sheppard and Lerato Chabangu gone, Sundowns coach Henri Michel can depend on Surprise Moriri, new recruit Diyo Sibisi and Dario Monteiro.

l SuperSport United welcome Bay United to Super Stadium tonight, also at 7.30pm.

The visitors' coach, Khabo Zondo was encouraged by his team's battling display in the 1-all draw with Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

Zondo says he has noticed that the well-oiled United machine has shifted to a higher gear, and with Lance Davids the latest of Gavin Hunt's signings, Matsatsantsa are more intimidating.

"For us this is war. We are in serious trouble in the league, which we have to get out of as soon as possible," said Zondo.

A boost for United has been the return from suspension of Jimmy Zakazaka, Cyril Nzama and Paulus Shipanga.

Matsatsantsa kicked off their CAF Champions League campaign in fine form last weekend, beating Curepipe Starlight 3-0. Hunt's biggest task is therefore to decide which of his illustrious players to leave on the bench.

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