If there will be something to salvage from the rubble of Civo Stadium on October 13, then it could be decent gate collections and a full-house. There is no guarantee for the rest.
Off the pitch, there is some certainty that after stuffing the fansâ€™ hard-earned cash in their pockets and underwear, the thieves will spare something for FAM, Sports Council, government and its many stakeholdersâ€”licking their lipsâ€”to share.
On the pitch, there could after all, be nothing to pick against the Black Stars of Ghana.
There is no need to deceive an already depressed nation, reeling from wayward inflation, that there is hope from this decisive qualifying match for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
A three-goal margin win is CAFâ€™s prescription for the cold Flames if they are to go to South Africa finals next year.
In Kinnah Phiriâ€™s tenure since 2008, Malawi has played some few giants in the mould of Ghana. A 1-0 win over Egypt in 2008, a 1-1 draw with Cote dâ€™Ivoire and a 3-0 smashing of Algeria springs to mind.
But perspective demands that we must not lose sight of the fact that the then Flamesâ€™ players were at the peak of their athletic powers.
The same cannot be said of this squad dominated by either mid-career crisis sufferers or those dragging into the retirement zone. Of course, there are one or two players with semblance of youth.
The big question is how would the Flames keep it tight in the absence of the calming influence of Limbikani Mzava and James Sangala?
With the strikers in camp, it is very predictable that those who will make it in the final squad are Robin Ngalande, Atusaye Nyondo, Chiukepo Msowoya, Gabadinho Mhango and Esau Kanyenda.
Now save for Gabadinho, none of the forwards have this year, in competitive games, â€˜friendliesâ€™ or training sessions with their respective clubs, managed to score a double, let alone a hat-trick. How can they, then, be expected to score against Ghana?
Yet I am aware that come next week, the mood in Malawi will be positive.
When the dust settles on Civo Stadium debate, you can be certain that this big dreaming football nation will slip into the usual confidence mode, believing that dimming the Black Stars is a distinct possibility.
They call it dreaming in colour.
During the week leading to the match, the press will step up the tempo; hyping this lost cause. Then this forgetful football nation will troop to Lilongwe hoping for a three-goal miracle.
Games, can sometimes, be won from the dressing room. But even before the Flames step into Civo Stadium changing room, there are just too many distractions to worry the players and restless coach Kinnah.
Lower the expectations bar.
There is no shame in bowing out of the race against Ghana. There is no shame in falling at the last hurdle when you do not even have a venue worth calling a home ground.
There should be no embarrassment when your best striker is 20-year-old Gabadinho who has never ever slipped into an Under-17, Under-20, Under-23 jersey, let alone complete two TNM Super League seasons.
There is no shame when FAMâ€™s K80 million annual budget is what serious national teams spent on a mere training camp.
There is no shame in bowing out of the running for Africaâ€™s cream of last 16 when your national coach is on hand-to-mouth monthly contract due to Capital Hill bureaucracy.
There is no shame, ladies and gentlemen!
Foresight on the side of our football planners should demand that they lead the nation in accepting that the Flames, before kicking the ball on October 13, are out.
In that way, there will be mitigation of a disaster that could happen due to amplified but unfulfilled expectations at Civo Stadium in this decisive qualifier.
Let Kinnah pick the pieces from the Civo Stadium rubble and target the forthcoming Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup for the rebuilding. It never hurts if it is not the truth.