DURBAN - Maritzburg United are in red-hot form in both cup competition and league matches, but their boss, Fadlu Davids, has suggested that his side are the underdogs going into the quarter-final showdown against Bloemfontein Celtic at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.
The game will kick off at 3.30pm. The Team of Choice are surprisingly third on the Absa Premiership log - just five points behind the log leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns.
Apart from their good league run, Maritzburg fought gallantly against SuperSport United in a two-legged MTN 8 semi-final before succumbing 3-1 on aggregate earlier in the season. Despite all of these accomplishments, Davids still feels that the pressure is on Celtic.
“We are ready for the match. We are underdogs and they are the favourites. They have the cup pedigree,” Davids said.
"Celtic have already reached a cup final this season, and in 2012 they won the Telkom Knockout. We are not experienced, but we will give our level best. We want to reach the semi-finals and finish as high as possible in the log standings."
Celtic were beaten by Bidvest Wits in the Telkom Knockout final in December.
“They will come out strong after what happened the last time we played them at home,” Davids elaborated.
“We have to be at our best. It won’t be easy. We are missing three of our best defenders in Bevan Fransman, Brian Onyango and Pagiso Senoka. Senoka and Fransman are suspended, while Onyango is still injured. So we will be forced to change our structure and approach.”
Maritzburg thumped Celtic 4-0 when these two sides locked horns in an Absa Premiership encounter at Harry Gwala Stadium earlier this season.
Davids attributes their success so far to collective work.
“What has worked for us this season is the cohesion. We’ve worked well together, from the technical staff to players and the management. But we have to keep on going. We haven’t achieved anything yet. We have to back up our good performance with something.”