Reigning TNM Super League champions and current leaders Silver Strikers are determined to start the second round on an impressive note Saturday afternoon.
The Bankers face Azam Tigers at Kalulu Stadium in Nchalo in their quest to defend the flagship league title and win the K9 million ultimate prize.
It will be coach Franco Ndawaâ€™s first league game in charge, but despite pressure weighing heavily on his shoulders, he is determined to lead the Bankers to glory.
The sky fell on Ndawa a couple of weeks ago when Silver lost 2-0 to his former club Mighty Wanderers in the finals of the Standard Bank Knockout Trophy.
But in an interview from the capital on Thursday, Ndawa said he has put all that behind him and has shifted focus on the race for the league title.
â€œIt would have been a dream start for me, especially against my former team,â€ said Ndawa.
The Bankers are on top of the table with 31 points from 14 games and start the second round against a side that they beat 2-0 at home in the first round.
But Ndawa is not throwing caution to the wind.
Silver will be without experienced midfielder Chikondi Likwemba who is tying the matrimonial knot in Zomba in the afternoon. But they still have enough arsenal.
They will look up to Peter Pindani and Ndaziona Chatsaliraâ€™s deft touches as well as Young Chimodzi Jnr and Frank Bandaâ€™s exquisite passing. Upfront, they have Rodrick Gonani, Harvey Mkacha and Tony Chitsulo.
However, Tigers outspoken coach Leo Mpulula warned that the Bankers should not expect a stroll in the park.
â€œWe will be out to avenge the first-round loss and improve on our standing on the log table. Apart from playing at home, we just cannot afford to lose twice to Silver,â€ said Mpulula.
The Kau-Kau boys have strengthened their side by signing Chikondi Mpulula and Anthony Kaipa from Blue Eagles and Mighty Wanderers Youth, respectively.