Flames coach Ernest Mtawali yesterday named a 20-member squad that has eight defenders to face Guinea in African Cup of Nations qualifier next Friday.
The coach has balanced between foreign-based and Super League players. Nine of the 20 players are locally-based.
The coach has opted for locally-based goalkeepers Brighton Munthali and John Soko for the tie—dropping Mozambique-based Charles Swine and Simplex Nthala.
Eight defenders in the squad are Limbikani Mzava, Stanley Sanudi, Francis Mlimbika, Miracle Gabeya, Wonderful Jeremani, Yamikani Fodya, John Lanjesi and Harry Nyirenda.
The coach has picked foreign-based Chimango Kayira, Robert Ng’ambi, Joseph Kamwendo, Micium Mhone and John Banda while Isaac Kaliyati is the only Super League midfielder in the squad.
Strikers in the squad are Chiukepo Msowoya, Gabadinho Mhango, Zicco Nkanda and Schumacher Kuwali.
The coach said he was confident that the players he had picked would deliver in Guinea.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda noted that the coach was cautious as he is aware that away games are tricky.
“He is trying to avoid a loss,” said Nyirenda. “I can see he is going for a draw or a win.”
According to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda, the Flames, who leave tomorrow for Guinea, will spend a night in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before proceeding to Sierra Leone through Ghana.
The Flames will play a training match against Sierra Leone on Tuesday before connecting to Guinea in the evening soon after the game.
The Match against Guinea will be played on March 25 March, at 16:40hrs Malawi time.
The team will use the same route on return and will be in Malawi on March 27 March ahead of a return leg scheduled for March 29. n