TNM Super League defending champions Be Forward Wanderers and leaders Nyasa Big Bullets have accused each other of being under pressure ahead of their normal Blantyre derby at the Kamuzu Stadium this Saturday.
The two giants, who are separated by seven points after playing 19 games apiece, have not met at the commercial city’s soccer Mecca in a league match since the second round of the 2016 season when Bullets triumphed 1-0.
They were meeting in Lilongwe due to the closure of Kamuzu Stadium.
Bullets are on top of the 16-team table with 45 points while Wanderers are second with 38 points.
When asked about preparations yesterday, Wanderers team manager Steve Madeira claimed pressure is on Bullets being the current league leaders while Bullets head coach Rodgers Yasin said it is the Nomads that are panicking because they are the defending champions.
“We will start our training tomorrow ahead of the derby. We are aware that it is a must-win game for us to ensure our title-defence credentials,” Madeira said.
“However, I must say it here that it is Bullets who are under pressure because as leaders, they would desperately wish to remain relevant at the summit of the table.”
But in a separate interview, Yasin said pressure is on Wanderers being the current champions.
He said: “Wanderers might not say it, but they are under intense pressure going into this Saturday’s encounter. They are lagging behind us by seven points and if we beat them they will trail us by 10 points.
“Being the defending champions, the prospects of losing that game has already sent chills down their spine. Because of this, we have no special training ahead of this derby.”
In the first round, the giants settled for a goalless draw. Last season, the first round ended in a 1-0 victory for Bullets while the second round ended in a one-all draw.