It was in the inaugural PSL season, in 1996/ 97, that Durban-based side Manning Rangers won the league title under Gordon Igesund

Maritzburg United can play their part in bringing an end to a 21-year wait for a league title in the KwaZulu-Natal province when they tackle Mamelodi Sundowns at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday.

Heading into Wednesday’s showdown in Pretoria, Sundowns are top of the standings with 51 points from 24 games. AmaZulu have 50 points from 26 games, and Arrows, following a 1-0 defeat to AmaZulu on the weekend, are on 43 points from 26 games.

Maritzburg, meanwhile, have been in decent form in 2021, but remain just three points above the relegation zone.

So while they can do their fellow KZN teams a big favour, the Team of Choice have plenty to play for themselves and motivation won’t be a problem against the Brazilians.

“Obviously it’s a very big game, especially coming up against such a big team with good players,” Maritzburg winger Tebogo Tlolane told the club’s media department.

“But we will go there focussed on getting the three points. We are not going there to lose the game.

“In the first round we got a draw, but we know in football anything’s possible.

“Obviously Sundowns are a team that we have to respect. But when it comes to football, it’s about what you do on the day, and we’re going to go there fully focussed.

“We also know what we can achieve in the game and our capabilities. We just have to believe in ourselves and give it our all for 90 minutes.”

Maritzburg have drawn three of seven matches against Sundowns since last beating them 3-1 in a Nedbank Cup match in 2018.

The visiting players will be up against several of their former teammates in the likes of Lebohang Maboe, Brian Mandela Onyango and Rushine De Reuck.

Downs forward Jose Meza is on loan at Maritzburg but has been injured in recent weeks.

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