Nyasa Big Bullets hope to reposition themselves in the battle for the TNM Super League championship following their FDH Bank Cup quarter-finals exit.
The People’s Team, who twice blew their lead to draw 2-2 and lose 4-2 on post-match penalties to Silver Strikers in a mid-week game, are on the road to the North to face Moyale Barracks this afternoon and Mzuzu Warriors tomorrow at Mzuzu Stadium.
The defeat to the Central Bankers came four days after losing 1-0 to Ugandan champions Express FC in the final of the East and Central Africa Club Championship, also known as the Cecafa Kagame Cup in Tanzania.
With the league title as their only chance of finishing the season with silverware, Bullets want to collect maximum points and open a wide gap with second-placed Silver who at 46 points, are two points adrift of the leaders. The Central Bankers have played two more games.
Bullets coach Callisto Pasuwa emphasises the significance of ensuring each game counts.
He said: “Our approach has always been the same, a positive mind to collect maximum points. We don’t say this one is more important and we have to play differently.
“On these games, we are ready, we hope all the players are ready for the games as we are trying to psych up the guys after Wednesday’s loss.”
Bullets walloped Moyale 5-1 and whitewashed Mzuzu Warriors 3-0 in the first round.
But Pasuwa said this does not mean the second round ties will be easy.
“One thing I have seen in local football is that when we host them they struggle, but the moment you play them at their home they play well. It will be a different team and approach. We are going with that in mind. We are playing them at home and so we need to be in the right sense of mind and prepare where we had shortfalls,” he said.
On his part, Moyale assistant coach Pritchard Mwansa said they will be seeking revenge for the first round humiliation.
“Losing 5-1 in the previous away match was not good. We are a big team and we want to make things right this time around. They [Bullets] are a good side, but we are ready for them. Our target is to finish in the top three,” he said.
Moyale are fifth on the log table with 37 points from 24 games, they have won 10 matches, lost seven and drawn seven.
According to Mwansa, apart from Gastin Simkonda who is nursing an injury, the rest of the squad is fit.
“We have no excuses, we have all our key players available for selection apart from Gastin who has been out for two months now,” he said.
Their artillery includes Lloyd Njaliwa, Timothy Nyirenda, Robert Mphenzi, Deus Nkutu, Chamveka Gwetsani and Gift Nyando.
In another potentially explosive fixture, Silver will take on Blue Eagles at Silver Stadium.
The match will see the return of suspended Eagles coach Gerald Phiri who was asked to step aside due to poor performance.
In another fixture, Mighty Wanderers take on relegation stuck Ntopwa FC at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre this afternoon.
The Nomads lie third with 41 points from 23 games while Amagheto Kids are second from the bottom with 20 points from 26 matches.