Silver Strikers and Civo United are the fiercest Lilongwe rivals but they share the same history; that of Carlsberg Cup failure as both have not won it since the tournament’s inception in 2000.
So as the two sides clash this afternoon at Silver Stadium in a potentially explosive Carlsberg Cup round of 32 battle, either side will be hoping to progress and consequently stand a chance of lifting the trophy this term.
On current form, Silver perching at the top of the Super League table, have an edge over their rivals who are struggling and occupy position 11.
Civo coach Milias Pofera-Jegwe admits that their rivals’ form makes them favourites going into the match.
“Silver has assembled a good team and the players have gelled so quickly. Going into this match, people are not giving us a chance but we are capable of upsetting the odds,” he said in an interview yesterday.
Civo will be without their influential vice-captain Blessings Kawanga who suffered a foot strain last week after resuming training after a long injury layoff. Striker Victor Mpinganjira is also ruled out due to injury.
Meanwhile, the Bankers assistant coach Lovemore Fazili is cautious and dismisses the favourites tag: “It is a game we must win. Regardless of Civo’s current run, we have to give our best. Cup games are unpredictable and the result can go either way.”
The Bankers will be without defender injured Wonder German while midfielder Timothy Chitedze has accumulated two yellow cards and is suspended from the match.
The last time the two sides met Silver won 2-1 in a league match two months ago.
In other battles for round-of-16 slots this afternoon, Nyasa Big Bullets take on Master Security Rangers at Kamuzu Stadium, Wizards are up against Blue Eagles at Surestream Stadium and Mafco will battle it out against Dwangwa United at Chitowe Stadium. Karonga United host Moyale Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium whereas Warm Heart Bullets and Mzuni FC face-off at Nankhaka Stadium.