Apart from pride, there is more at stake when traditional arch-rivals Mighty Wanderers face off in a TNM Super League showdown this Sunday afternoon at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre as the match will also play an integral part in the fight for the Carlsberg sponsorship.
Records show that Bullets have played second fiddle to the Nomads in the Super League for the past five seasons after managing only two wins in 10 meetings and they will be out to get the better of their arch-rivals this afternoon.
Bullets beat the Nomads twice in the first rounds of the 2007 and 2010 seasons by 3-1 margins. They have lost five times while three encounters ended in draws.
Last season, Bullets lost both games, but their assistant coach Gerald Phiri believes this afternoon will be the turning point in their fortunes against their age-old rivals.
“Wanderers have had the upper hand in league matches in the recent past, but we are determined to change all that and we are buoyed by our recent 2-0 win in the Fama Bonanza
“However, we are aware that whenever we play Wanderers, it is always a tough contest because there is pride at stake, so weâ€™ll be cautious,” said Phiri.
Bullets are coming from two straight winsâ€”a 3-0 victory over Ngâ€™onga FC in the Presidential Cup that was followed by a 2-0 away triumph over Mafco in a league game last weekend.
On the other hand, the Nomads suffered a shock exit from the Presidential Cup after going down 2-1 to Bvumbwe Research before they came from behind to hold Azam Tigers to a 1-1 draw.
Bullets are on third position with 10 points from five games while the Nomads are on fourth with eight points from the same number of games.
Nomads coach Franco Ndawa said his team is not affected by last weekâ€™s poor showing, saying it has only helped them to be on guard.
“To us it is a normal game. We have put aside our woes from last week, this is will be a different game altogether. We are aware though that Bullets are playing good football, but weâ€™ll take them head-on,” said Ndawa.
Bullets will be welcoming back their influential winger Fischer â€˜Anongâ€™aâ€™ Kondowe, international midfielder Chimango Kaira and striker Grant Lungu from injuries while midfielder Henry Kabichi also returns from suspension, but Jelesi Lufeyo remains on the sidelines with an injury.
Such is the depth in the Bullets squad that they also have promising midfielder Ian Chinyama, George Nyirenda, Douglas â€˜Section 65â€™ Chirambo, Dalitso Siliva, free-scoring veteran forward Heston Munthali and revived striker Diverson Mlozi.
On the other hand, Foster Namwela will marshal the Nomads defense while workhorse Nafe Msasa, Alfred Manyozo Jnr, rejuvenated Joseph Kamwendo and Innocent Jere will be at the hub of their moves in midfield in order to keep the supply lines open for their dangerman Diverson Chilemba upfront.