There will be no love lost as bitter rivals Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers lock horns in a Blantyre Derby in Energem International Bonanza at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre today.
Though just a pre-season mini tournament both sides have vowed to unleash their best arsenal for the last game of the tournament involving the rivals and UD Songo of Mozambique and Chicken Inn from Zimbabwe.
With the tournament’s regulations allowing six substitutes, coaches for both teams said they would throw in every player fit for the match.
Nyasa Big Bullets, who featured players that were starved of game time in the first and second matches, are expected to unleash their best in this afternoon battle.
Bullets assistant coach Peter Mponda said the derby is the perfect test for the players and the team’s performance ahead of the 2020 season.
“Remember in these games we are looking at performance of the players individually and also performance as a team.
“Playing our rivals is always a tough game. It does not matter whether it is a friendly or a pre-season tournament game like this one,” he said.
For Wanderers assistant coach Oscar Kaunda, the derby is a chance to atone for the sins of 2019 season when they allowed Bullets to leapfrog them and win the TNM Super League after being on top of the table for a better part of the season.
“It will be tough. It won’t be easy. But we would want to bring back smiles on the faces of our supporters after a disappointing 2019 season,” he said.
“Winning will be an assurance to the players that we mean business in the coming season.”
Last year , the two sides failed to beat each other in the league as both first and second round ties ended in draws.
The rivals also drew in the last edition of the international mini-tournament with goals from Zicco Nkanda for Wanderers and Henry Kabichi for Bullets.
Interestingly, Nkanda is now in the opposition camp after he was released by the Nomads.
New faces in the Nomads camp include Mathews Sibale and Juma Yatina who are expected to have a feel of the Blantyre derby.