Giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers clash this afternoon at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre in a TNM Super League encounter that can quicken the heartbeat and leave spectators amazed and depressed in equal measure.
The match would not have come at a better time than now when both sides have been inconsistent in a title contest in which leaders Be Forward Wanderers and Kamuzu Barracks (KB) have some foothold.
Defending champions Bullets are fourth with 23 points from 13 matches. They have won once in four matches, a 5-0 triumph over Karonga United.
In a crazy three-week stretch, the People’s Team lost 1-0 to KB and recorded goalless draws against Masters Security and Wanderers.
Bullets main attacking threat will most probably come from Chiukepo Msowoya and Hassan Kajoke.
The People’s Team assistant coach Peter Mponda said injuries remain a cause of concern, but they are determined to dictate matters.
“We are playing at home and that should give us an edge and we should be in control of the game. We will take the game to them,” he said.
Mponda said captain John Lanjesi, Miracle Gabeya and MacFarlen Ngwira are still recuperating from injuries while Yamikani Fodya and Bashir Maunde were expected to undergo late fitness tests yesterday
Silver currently lie sixth, having bagged 22 points from 12 games. The Central Bankers have, so far, drawn with rookies Chitipa United and Mlatho Mponela and lost to KB and Blue Eagles.
Their team manager Itaye Nundwe is hoping they can show their title credentials by beating the champions.
“Beating a title rival means that you slow them down. Again, it will lift our spirits as we will always believe that everything, including winning the title, is possible,” he said.
The Central Bankers will be hoping that their attacking duo of Michael Tetteh and Khuda Muyaba will maintain their top form while getting support from their penetrative wingers Duncan Nyoni and Thuso Paipi.
But they will have to make do without defender Yunis Sheriff who is suspended, having accumulated three yellow cards, according to Nundwe.
During their clashes last season, there was no winner having tied one-all in their first encounter and 0-0 in the second tie.
At Civo Stadium in Lilongwe, KB aim to displace Wanderers from the top of the 16-team log table when they face Civil Sporting Club.
The army side are tied on 27 points with the Nomads, but have an inferior goal difference.
KB coach Billy Phambala fears the rejuvenated Civil could cause his side problems in the Lilongwe derby.
“After a string of poor results, Civil has recovered well and it is a huge threat. We must pay attention to detail. But I am very optimistic we will win the match,” he said.
KB has already made significant strides this season, having beaten Silver and Bullets. Such great results must be enough to scare the civil servants, but their coach Franco Ndawa is unfazed.
“We know they are performing well that’s why they are up there. But we are also desperate for positive results. So, we aren’t scared and we will fight to the end,” he said.
Civil are seventh with20 points from 13 matches.