Three seasons old in the Super League, Blantyre United can be considered as rookies compared to champions and current leaders Silver Strikers who have been in the league since its inception two and a half decades ago.
And United must prove that they are slowly turning into a force to reckon with in the top flight league by clinching a win against the Bankers this afternoon to remain in contention for the championship.
So, men must be separated from boys and the setting for this crunch explosive potential title decider is Silver Stadium in the capital city.
United are second on the log table with 48 points from 25 games, they trail Silver—who have a single game cushion— by three points and a loss will mean, mathematically, they are out of the championship race.
If other title contenders Bullets lose all their three remaining games just like Silver, Blantyre United must win their next two games with an incredible goal difference of plus 15 to overtake Silver—quite a tall order.
So, for the Elijah Kananji’s side getting a win is not an option, it is a must.
It will be a tall older for United to get all the three points considering that the Central Bankers, who are the defending champions, have only lost once at home; a 2-1 defeat to Red Lions in November.
Silver have won all the other 10 games and have drawn none.
But United are banking on their first round fortune when they beat Silver 2-1 at the Kamuzu Stadium.
In fact, that was United’s first league win of the season that turned their fortunes after losing their four opening games. It was also Silver’s first loss as their six games unbeaten run start of the season came to a halt.
“It is tough match considering their home record. But we are prepared to get a win .It is our life. At this stage we cannot afford to drop points..
“We beat them in the first round and that is vital to building the morale, but this will be a different game,” said Kananji.
He just pleaded with the officiating personnel to handle the match professionally.
“Let the referee not spoil this match. We all play passing and entertaining football and people should enjoy the game and the deserving team should carry the day not because of being helped by dubious officiation,” he added.
Silver’s coach Franco Ndawa said United will be tough to beat.
“This will be one of the difficult games ever for me as Silver coach. They are an exciting team with an impressive work rate and fighting spirit and team work.
“But we can’t afford to drop points at this moment of the season,” he said.
United start life with their playrmaker and captain Jimmy Chikulekule who has joined a Mozambican team.
Chikulekule was the heart and the soul of United’s every attack and his absence will be felt. But Kananji still has enough armoury to gun down Silver.
In fact Chikulekule did not play in first round victory as he was serving a yellow cards suspension. It was Brown ‘Fisi Matama’ Mizeye and Sparrow Msowoya who destroyed the bankers with a goal each .
The two have enjoyed a good scoring form scoring 12 goals each this far. Abraham ‘Aboutrika’ Kamwendo will take over Chikulekule’s role in the sterling role to build all attacks.
Ndawa is spoilt of choice in every position to come up with a first eleven as he has a depth of talented and experienced campaigners.
But for sure goalkeeper Charles Swini, Lucky Malata, Frank Banda, Harvey Mkacha, Dave Moya, Peter Pindani, and top scorer Rodrick Gonani will find their way into the starting lineup.
At the Kamuzu Stadium fourth-placed Might Wanderers, who blew their chance of competing for honours with a 2-all draw against Civo United two weeks ago, face relegated Escom United at the Kamuzu Stadium.
The Nomads will look for a win to cement their challenge for a second or third place finish.