This season’s unarguably most improved side Kamuzu Barracks (KB) have been deposed from the TNM Super League summit twice recently, but the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) outfit can rise again with victory over relegation-threatened Civo United in a promisingly explosive Lilongwe derby at Civo Stadium this afternoon.
With on average four matches remaining before a tightly contested season winds up, second placed KB currently have 49 points two shy away of leaders Blue Eagles who have played a game more.
The gap between Civo and KB is tellingly wide. The Civil Servants, with a pitiable 21 points, sit just a place above table anchors Max Bullets who disbanded recently.
But KB coach Billy Phambala fears that they are meeting Civo at a wrong time when the team is battling for survival.
“Civo is struggling to rediscover its form, but that does not mean they will be easy to beat. Our mission, nonetheless, is to win the game if we are to sustain our title challenge,” he said.
KB will welcome back forward Kelvin Hanganda, goalkeeper Lemani Nthala and defender Pempho Kansichiri who were suspended during the match against Azam Tigers last Saturday.
Phambala said of the returnees: “Their return is a blessing because I will have a large pool of players to choose from. However, I believe that every player is capable of delivering.”
Civo are still searching for their second round first win. Their latest match—against Blue Eagles at home—ended in 1-0 defeat casting a dark shadow on their survival bid.
But the Civil Servants coach Charles Manda hopes that they can overturn the hand of a curse during the match against KB.
“I still believe that all is not lost. We can still win the remaining matches, including the one against KB. But we have to improve,” he said.
In other matches today, Silver Strikers will be aiming to revive their title bid when they face Red Lions at Silver Stadium. The match comes after an undesirable goalless draw against Premier Bet Wizards last Sunday and a 4-2 humbling by KB.
The Bankers, now on position five, have 44 points, seven off the top, but have two games in hand and still very much in the title mix.
Relegation battlers Wizards have a tough task against Azam Tigers at Kamuzu Stadium. The Kau Kau Boys’ desire to finish the league strongly was boosted by their 1-0 victory over title chasers Blue Eagles.
Wizards are a point off the relegation zone with 26 points while Tigers cannot count themselves utterly safe as they have 35 points and need two points from four games to stay clear of any danger.