Coach Eric Tinkler's Maritzburg side may just be team to bring Kaizer Chiefs to a grinding halt. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN - Eric Tinkler has vowed to bring Kaizer Chiefs to a grinding halt and break the log leaders’ unbeaten record in the past eight league matches.

The high-flying Amakhosi will visit Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership showdown at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday (3.30pm). Chiefs are seemingly unstoppable as they have trampled top dogs such as Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates on the way to stretching their lead to nine points ahead of second-placed Downs.

You can’t blame Tinkler for feeling his Maritzburg side has the right recipe to dilute Chiefs’ clean run. The Team of Choice are the ones that dumped the Soweto giants out of the Telkom Knockout recently. They are now targeting a double over them.

“We beat them in the Telkom Knockout (semi-final). We are capable (of beating them) but what you are going to get is a different team because it is a team that knows how you’ve beat them. It is a team that is doing well in the league. They will be hungrier and want to get the result against us because they lost to us in the cup. They obviously want to continue with their run in the league. We’ve got to work harder than we did against them when we won the cup,” Tinkler explained to the media at Harry Gwala Stadium yesterday.

Chiefs have been deadly in set plays and their duo of Leonardo Castro and Samir Nurkovic have been uncontainable for opposition defences. Their aerial strength has helped Chiefs tremendously.

“They’ve got enough depth and quality in their squad to sustain it. They got some good results in the league. Some of those games haven’t been pretty, but the fact of the matter is that they are scoring and winning. They have scored nine goals in set pieces in the last couple of games. Obviously that’s an area that has become a massive strength for them which existed even when Baxter won the league,” Tinkler added.

Chiefs will certainly be still hurting from their 2-1 TKO defeat to Tinkler’s team and that’s likely to make the challenge even tougher for the Team of Choice.

“They seem to have found their mojo in terms of scoring from set plays. That’s an area where we need to be brave and cautious, hence we’ve done analysis today in terms of dealing with corners and the second ball. They are threat on those set pieces,” Tinkler stated.

He is adamant that they can nullify the threat of Nurkovic and Castro in the air.

Subscribe to the IOL Sport Newsletter!

“We’ve played them and dealt with them aerially. All we have to do is to apply the same principle - set pieces and long balls. Consistency is very important,” Tinkler said.

Maritzburg are still hobbling after losing to Sundowns in the TKO final at Moses Mabhida Stadium at the weekend.

“The added element is that we are playing at home. I never look to play for draws. Would you be happy with the draw against Chiefs knowing that they are on top of the league? Of course you will be. But we don’t plan to play for draws, we plan to win games, especially when we play at home. We need to go there and perform like we did against Sundowns.”

@Minenhlecr7


The Mercury

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter