Maritzburg face Eagles in Cup derby

Maritzburg United will bank on their recent run as they meet Royal Eagles in a Nedbank Cup last 16 match at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3:30pm.

The two KwaZulu-Natal sides will battle it out to ensure they walk away with the bragging rights in as far as provincial football is concerned.

Coached by Roger Sikhakhane, the National First Division side will want to rescue their poor season so far and reach the next stage.

Eagles sit at number 11 on the NFD table and their promotion hopes to the Absa Premiership have been dealt a massive blow.

They beat Happy Wanderers in the last round 1-0 and will be hoping to stun the high-flying Team of Choice in front of their home crowds.

Looking at Fadlu Davids’ side, they are seen as PSL title challengers and that has boosted their morale heading to this match.

In the last 32, it took them extra time to beat Swallows FC and they will now be vigilant against another side from the lower division.

Previous starting XI:

Maritzburg United: Ofori, Sanoka, Fransman, Xulu, Ndlovu, Makaringe, Shandu, Mokate, Maboe, Mekoa, Fileccia

Royal Eagles: Nyame, Manganyi, Cele, Brown, Niang, Ngubo, Komane, Mahlane, Mncube, Nene, Mosebo



What the teams are saying:

Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids:

“It’s difficult, teams coming from the NFD, they up their game, they go all out and play above themselves,” said Davids.

“So we have to approach it like a PSL game. At the start of the season Eagles assembled a squad strong enough to win promotion, and they have a strong enough squad to win promotion, that’s for sure. They are in form, winning two matches in a row.

“Roger Sikhakhane has come in as coach and we are definitely in for a tough game. He’s transformed them. We see them every week here at Harry Gwala, they’re a transformed team under the new coach.

“Getting to the next round is the most important thing. Form goes out the window when you play in the Cup, you have to approach it really structured to get to the next round. So it’s not really about your form, it’s a must-win situation.”

Royal Eagles general manager James Dlamini:

“It is the first of its kind for us in a cup competition as we play our big brothers, we know they are on top form,” he said.

“Our preparations are going well and we are going to cause an upset, luckily all our boys are available except one who got a red card last week.

“We are ready for this one and we want to beat Maritzburg. We hope the guys do their best on Sunday.

“Yes the mood is high, we have not lost in four games and we are happy. The coach has come and done a wonderful job so far and we want to continue because a win will boost our confidence.”

Key players for Maritzburg United:

Bevan Fransman:

The tall centre back has a chance to bring silverware to the club as they want a spot in the next round. His leadership has been vital for the club so far.

Andrea Fileccia:

The Belgian striker has proven his worth in front of goal for the PSL side. He will be the man tasked with leading the team upfront.

Key players for Royal Eagles:

Mame Niang:

One of the most travelled players in South African football. The lanky Senegalese striker will want to help the NFD side and stun their neighbours.

David Zulu:

The former Chippa United and Kaizer Chiefs striker has a chance to prove his worth in this competition. His aim is to cause all sorts of problems for United.