AmaZulu defender Marc Van Heerden says his side are ready to lock horns with Kaizer Chiefs when they get their league campaign underway on Saturday.
The two sides will meet at the Moses Mabhida Stadium with kick-off scheduled for 6pm.
Both sides were recently knocked out of the MTN8 quarterfinals with Usuthu losing 2-0 to Moroka Swallows and Chiefs going down 4-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns.
Roger Palmgren’s men will now look to bounce back by collecting their first points of the new season, although Van Heerden admits that they are expecting to face tough opposition.
“It can never be easy to start with a team like Kaizer Chiefs in the league campaign,” said Van Heerden.
“But, we’re up to the task; we’ve worked hard during pre-season and played against tough opposition just to make sure that we’re ready for when the league starts.”
Last season Amakhosi finished in fifth place on the league table, two spots ahead of AmaZulu, and with nine points more.
However, the Usuthu left-back says they have to be prepared for all kinds of opposition if they are to maintain their status as one of the top teams in the country.
“You can throw Orlando Pirates or Black Leopards at us; the reality is we have to be ready for each and every team,” said Van Heerden.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us but at the end of the day it will be eleven against eleven on the field.
“It’s still early days but we are in good physical shape and mentally we are all prepared for the game.”
Last season the two sides could not be separated as they played to goalless draws in Durban and Johannesburg.