Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids confirms Siyanda Xulu available for MTN8 quarter-final with Mamelodi Sundowns
Posted: 11 August 2017 Time: 10:45
Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids says African champions Mamelodi Sundowns have an advantage heading into their first game of the season on Sunday.
The clubs will contest the last MTN8 quarter-final at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville (15h00 kick-off).
Sundowns, who have had little rest as they remain active in the CAF Champions League, have kept their eye on Maritzburg in pre-season. Assistant coach Manqoba Mgqithi took notes at the KZN Premier's Cup, while scout Floyd Mogale has watched them in friendly action.
"Sundowns have an advantage. They've been playing a higher level of competitive games in CAF and they have been analysing us," Davids points out.
"They sent their scout Floyd Mogale to watch us in the last friendly game against Bloemfontein Celtic and Manqoba Mqgithi came to the Premier's Cup to watch us, so they are well prepared. They've had games, they are well prepared, they are African champions, and the game is there for them."
Maritzburg ended Downs' Premiership title charge when they previously met last season, but Davids is reading little into that 2-2 stalemate at the same venue in May.
"We just have to keep doing what we've been doing. We don't want to be looking into the last game we played them, we were not successful. We should try and correct things that were not successful and try and get the result.
"It's not a draw game, it's not any points that you are playing for so it's just about getting to the next game."
In team news, marquee signing Siyanda Xulu is in line to face his former side. Xulu is looking to revive his career after a horrendous spell at Kaizer Chiefs that only yielded 10 matches in two seasons.
However, fellow defender Brian Onyango, who is reportedly on the Brazilians' radar, is doubtful for the contest as the Kenyan awaits his work permit.
Young attacking midfielder Mlondi Dlamini will miss out with a fractured fibula, according to Davids.
"He [Xulu] will definitely be part of the team. Whether he starts is a decision I'll make but he is available for selection," says Davids.
"Regarding Onyango, his work permit [has not been issued]. Hopefully in the next two days we'll get it so it's touch and go whether he'll be ready or his work permit will come in at the last second. Hopefully he'll be available for selection if the work permit comes through."