Malawi national football team coach Meck Mwase still believes the rusty Flames can salvage something from today’s international friendly against the Chipolopolo at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia.
Interestingly, the Flames’ last match was against the Zambians who won 1-0 in March at the same venue.
But Mwase, who missed the international friendly as he was attending a refresher course in Netherlands, is confident that this time around the copper bullets will not withstand the scorching Flames.
“We know they are a very good team so that’s why we always come here to learn something. Our approach is to see where we stand before facing Burkina Faso,” he added.
On the team’s rustiness following the seven-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mwase admitted that it will have an effect on his charges.
He said: “But the good thing is that we have picked players that have been together for a long time. They know each other, having played together for a couple of years. We have trust in them and I am sure they will bring results.”
The coach will be without two key players that have failed to be with the team due to various reasons.
The return of estranged captain Limbikani Mzava has been delayed as he is club-hunting in South Africa while Moldova-based Francisco Madinga has failed to travel due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Mwase admitted that the duo’s presence could have made a big difference.
Meanwhile, Georgia-based defender Charles Petro completed the Flames squad for the match when he arrived in Lusaka yesterday afternoon.
However, his game plan will revolve around USA- based midfielder Yamikani Chester, Mozambique-based duo of John Banda and Schumacher Kuwali as well as South Africa-based Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango, Gerald Phiri Jnr, Chawanangwa Kawonga, Richard Mbulu and Dennis Chembezi.
Mwase’s trump card is Mhango, who was the joint Premier Soccer League golden boot winner.
Flames stand-in captain Gerald Phiri Jnr said: “Games between Malawi and Zambia are like two brothers fighting. So, it’s not going to be a friendly [as such]. We want to win and they also want to win.”
Meanwhile, Mwase’s counterpart Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic told the Zambia media that he will use fringe players.
He said: “We are looking to give the chance mostly to the local players and some of the players playing outside that have not been seen enough.”