Reports & Previews

Kaizer Chiefs v Maritzburg United

Kaizer Chiefs can not afford any further slip ups when they face Maritzburg on Saturday if they're to have any further say in the Absa Premiership title race.

While many are already of the opinion that Amakhosi are out of the running for the Premiership crown, the Soweto giants have vowed to keep fighting until the end as they try and reduce the deficit at the top of the table.

With a game still in hand, Chiefs can move to within five points of current leaders Orlando Pirates this weekend, but to do so they must dispatch Maritzburg at FNB Stadium.

That shouldn't be too tough a task for coach Ernst Middendorp's side, however, considering that Maritzburg are currently languishing at the foot of the table.

The Team of Choice have won two of their last three matches in the Premiership, however, suggesting Eric Tinkler's charges are fighting tooth and nail to secure their survival.

Chiefs are coming off a 3-2 win over Highlands Park in Durban last weekend, while Maritzburg defeated KwaZulu-Natal rivals AmaZulu 2-1 at home.

Speaking on the prospect of facing his former club, Middendorp said: “Of course I’ve got history with Maritzburg and I don’t need to explain that in detail.

“I’m now 100% with Kaizer Chiefs and there’s no looking right or left. What I can tell you is that I’ve got two teams close to my heart.

“When I was not with Kaizer Chiefs, I had three teams where I was always looking at their results. I have a huge history with Arminia Bielefeld in Germany and the next on is Maritzburg United.

“It is a three pointer and we will do everything to bring it in to our advantage.”

Maritzburg coach Eric Tinkler said: “This team can’t be relegated, we don’t deserve to go to the National First Division, we are a very professional club and only a few teams are managed like us.

“We don’t want to be in the playoffs and for us to achieve that we need to work extra hard and win all our home games.

“We must prepare to win against the top teams as we want to avoid the playoffs.”

The last time these two teams met earlier this season in August 2018, they played out a goalless stalemate at the Harry Gwala Stadium.