Maritzburg, Bucs set for crunch affair

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Maritzburg United are set to host Orlando Pirates in an all-important Absa Premiership encounter this evening, and KickOff.com breaks down the numbers.

Pirates will be eager to collect points in their hopes of a first title in seven years, while Maritzburg on the other hand are in a desperate fight for their survival in the league.

The two sides met earlier this season at the Orlando Stadium, where they played to a goalless stalemate under the tutelage of current Bucs assistant Fadlu Davids.

This time, however, Milutin Sredojevic’s charges come up against former club mentor Eric Tinkler, who looks to be turning the tides at the Team of Choice.

The KwaZulu-Natal outfit have mustered some form at home since Tinkler’s arrival at the end of January, winning three of their last four home games – their only defeat having come against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns last month.

Pirates, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last seven league matches and have lost just twice in 13 matches away from home in the Premiership this season but have to go back as far as November 2013 to find their last victory away at Maritzburg.

And though a massive 30 points separate these two sides on the current log standings, the only thing separating these two sides tonight will be their hunger, determination and mental steel to obtain the necessary points to achieve their respective ambitions.

On the injury front, the Soweto giants will be without Kudakwashe Mahachi and Jackson Mabokgwane, who are nursing an abductor strain and finger sprain respectively, while the Pietermaritzburg side have been boosted by the return of former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Keagan Buchanan from a long-term knee injury.

Allan Kateregga is the only suspended player for tonight’s clash, which is scheduled to kick-off at 19h30.

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