Civo United are taking their TNM Super League fixture against Red Lions on Saturday seriously and have upped preparations so that they revenge the 1-0 exit in the Presidential Cup, two months ago.
In an interview on Tuesday, Civo assistant coach Dave Chirwa described the fixture as “special”.
“It does not matter that it is a Super League match, but we still feel the pain of the Presidential Cup exit. We are geared up for preparations and, hopefully, we can inflict revenge on them,” said Chirwa.
In the league, last season, the two teams drew 1-1 in Zomba and 0-0 at Civo. On the league table, only a point separates them. Civo are second with 22 points from 12 games whereas Red Lions are third with 21 points from nine games.
Chirwa, however, insisted that it will not be an easy game.
“They are currently the only unbeaten team in the league, so it will not be easy. They are one of the most consistent teams in the league. We have to be at our best to get our revenge,” said Chirwa.
Civo has been boosted by the return to training of playmaker Dave Ngâ€™ambi who was sidelined by injury for four weeks. The return of Flames players Pilirani Makupe, Patrick Gunde and John Lanjesi will also add depth in the squad.
However, Lions are unperturbed at the prospect of facing Civo away.
“We beat them at their home turf in the Presidential Cup and we can repeat the feat on Saturday. We just need to avoid complacency and focus on our game. This time, the approach will be different,” said Lions coach Collins Nkuna.
However, Lions preparations have hit a setback as they will be without two of their key players Benjani Kalua and Emmanuel Banda who are down with malaria.
“They are key components of our team and it is a great disappointment not to have them in the squad, but that is not an excuse as we have other players who we hope can kill the game on Saturday,” said Nkuna.
Lions will meet sister club Kamuzu Barracks (KB) on Sunday to rekindle the army inter-unit rivalry and Nkuna described the fixture as “another tough one.”
“There is always that rivalry that stems from our meetings in the army games festivals. It will be a really tough game and we need to be wary,” said Nkuna.
And KB coach Kenwood Nkhoma is leaving nothing to chance.
“It is going to a very competitive encounter and we have done the best preparations possible. It is important that we collect points since we will be playing at home,” said Nkhoma.