'AmaZulu are a formidable side'

Premiership

This is according to Maritzburg United mentor Fadlu Davids.

The two clubs will tonight contest a KwaZulu-Natal derby at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi (19h30).

Usuthu are hurting after the PSL on Monday took six points away from them for ignoring a FIFA ruling regarding a contract dispute with former player Phinheas Nambandi.

Johnson's men, who are now bottom of the log with a point from six games, are also entering the match on the back of a 2-0 loss to Kaizer Chiefs.

However, Davids insists AmaZulu are a force to be reckoned with.

"It is the second season with their coach, you can see the structure he's put in over the last year, it's coming, it's coming," Davids said.

"They're a formidable side, they're a really exciting side. I'm sure against Sundowns they were very unlucky to draw the game 3-3 [on September 16]. Two set-pieces against Chiefs, they lost the game, but they're a fantastic side.

"They made the top eight last season (before being bumped out on a technicality over the Tendai Ndoro eligibility saga) categorically, but I'm sure they'll be in the top eight again this season."

Meanwhile, Davids is pleased to have star midfielder Siphesihle Ndlovu back from a two-game for the red card he picked up against Chiefs at Harry Gwala Stadium in August. Davids is, though, without long-term casualty Keagan Buchanan and Yazid Atouba.

"After the Kaizer Chiefs game we had four weeks to prepare," he said referring to their goalless draw with Amakhosi.

"You could say that we are starting the pre-season having all our players and getting our full squad together. Of course, [Fortune] Makaringe getting the red card in the second game [against Free State Stars], we missed him. Ndlovu getting the red car, we missed him.

"Now we've got everybody back, but of course Buchanan and Atouba are not available."

Maritzburg followed up their stalemate with Chiefs with their first win of the season, a 1-0 defeat of Bloemfontein Celtic on the road 10 days ago.

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