Local football powerhouses Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers say they are excited to have been pitted against each other in the Airtel Top 8 semi-finals.
The semi-finals are scheduled for the weekend of December 11-12.
The two giants have never won the tournament since its inception in 2017 and setting the tone was Bullets assistant coach Peter Mponda who described it as a “final before the actual final”.
He said: “The Blantyre derby will always be big no matter the circumstances.
“But we would have loved to face them [Wanderers] in the final. All the same, we will prepare for them accordingly.
“They are a big team and they have a good side, but we have never won this tournament and we want to break that jinx.”
He also brushed off suggestions that they will be out to avenge the defeat they suffered in the second round of the TNM Super League, which ended their eight-year unbeaten home run.
The loss also put an end to the People’s Team’s nine-year unbeaten run against their rivals in league matches.
“To us it won’t be a grudge match, not at all. We have a mission and we will be out to accomplish that mission whether against Wanderers or any other team.”
On his part, Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira said the derby always stirs emotions.
“Of course, when I heard about it, my heart did not skip a bit. But the derby has always been big and this will not be an exception,” he said.
The Nomads gaffer also said the Airtel Top 8 provides them an opportunity to end their two-year silverware drought.
“So, we are eagerly looking forward to the match and we ask our supporters to rally behind us,” he said.
In the other semi-final, winners of the match between Civil Service (Civo) United and and Karonga United will face winners of the match involving defending champions Silver Strikers and TN Stars.
To qualify for the semis, Bullets beat Salima-based Malawi Defence Force (MDF) outfit Mafco FC 5-2 on aggregate while the Nomads booted out another MDF side Moyale Barracks of Mzuzu 5-4 through post-match penalties after tying one-all on aggregate.
Winners of this year’s edition will receive K17.5 million while the runners-up will get K5 million.