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Football | Absa Premiership

Lerato Manzini © Gallo Images

Chippa hoping for better form v United

Chippa United will be aiming to bring their cup form into the Absa Premiership when they host Maritzburg United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Kick-off at 7.30pm CAT.

The Eastern Cape side have endured a miserable run in the league, with their 1-0 loss away to Kaizer Chiefs on April 15 extending their winless run in the competition to nine matches. They have taken just five points from a possible 27 in the sequence and dropped to 12th on the table.

Yet in the Nedbank Cup, the Chilli Boys have been too hot to handle. This past weekend a second-half goal from Lerato Manzini took them to a 1-0 win over Jomo Cosmos and secured a place in the semifinals. Chippa are potentially 180 minutes away from their first major trophy.

Having made several changes to his team compared to the line-up which lost to Chiefs, coach Dan Malesela was delighted to see his team overcome Cosmos and he is hoping to see them take their Nedbank Cup form into the Absa Premiership.

"We thought the Cosmos players would get tired," Malesela said after the cup triumph. "We thought we would stretch them a little bit more in the first half so we can use their tiring players to find gaps.

"But it wasn't to be – a very good game from them, also a bit of a scare right at the end with them having half chances, but good luck to 'Bra J' [Sono] and the boys for the league.

"Well done to our boys, I think we did well and I think we deserved the win."

The Chippa coach added: "I actually had to threaten to take some of them [new players] out at halftime, hence the Mbokomas – the level of performance was upped.

"Lerato [Manzini] struggled a little bit today, but it's not bad. If other people can come in and do the job then it's okay for us.

"Now the focus should be on Tuesday already and we need to transfer this [form] into the league."

Maritzburg had the weekend off and come into the match in some solid form. In their last outing they defeated Baroka FC 3-1 at home on April 14 to record a second victory from their last three league matches.

The Team of Choice are placed eighth on the log and being talked of as top-half finishers. However, caretaker coach Fadlu Davids reckons they should take it one match at a time.

"We need one more point to get our [points target of] 30 and then we can concentrate further to set the next target,” said Davids in the wake of their win over Baroka.

"The next game against Chippa United is going to be tough away from home, but we've got enough time now to prepare and get the structure right to be able to handle them.”

In head-to-head stats, Maritzburg and Chippa have met in seven league matches since 2012/13. The Team of Choice have three wins compared to one for the Chilli Boys, while three matches have been drawn.

Chippa have yet to win a home league match against Maritzburg, recording two draws and a defeat in their three turns as host. When the teams met earlier this season, they played to a 1-1 draw in Pietermaritzburg.


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