While KwaZulu-Natal bragging rights are on the line when Maritzburg United host Golden Arrows at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, the bigger picture is that every point earned is crucial for the Team of Choice.
The DStv Premiership encounter against Abafana Bes’Thende kicks off at 3pm in the KwaZulu-Natal capital.
While Arrows are flying high this season and are third on the PSL table, Maritzburg are hovering near the other end of the table in 13th spot.
Commenting on the importance of Wednesday’s match, assistant coach Delron Buckley said:
“It’s going to be a difficult game, a derby, and Arrows have been having a very good season.
“We need points at the moment to be safe from relegation. The teams at the bottom have almost the same points, so every point for us counts and is very important.
“As a derby there is going to be a lot of emotions, from the technical team and the teams. We need to go there with the right approach.”
With a game in hand on some of the clubs above us, a top eight finish is not inconceivable.
“Everyone wants bragging rights,” said Maritzburg’s mid-season signing, Ryan Rae.
“And we want to get closer to the top eight, so of course it’s a big game on Wednesday.
“We’ve been preparing well at training, very structured and, listening to the coach on everything we have been doing and trying to fix the mistakes from the previous games and improve on the parts we have been doing well,” the man renowned for his long throw-in added.
“If we stick to our structure and our plan, when we play well it’s very difficult to beat us. We need a result and the boys are very positive and so are the technical team.”
Arrows won the first round league encounter in Durban 2-1. And while Maritzburg triumphed 2-1 in last season’s match against Arrows in Pietermaritzburg, Abafana bes’Thende have won four of the last five games between the two sides.