Silver Strikers will be on a double mission when they host their capital city rivals Civil Service (Civo) United this afternoon at Silver Stadium in the latest episode of the Lilongwe derby.
The Central Bankers will be out to reclaim the capital city bragging rights having lost the TNM Super League first round encounter 2-1 to the Civil Servants last November.
A win will also see Silver topple Nyasa Big Bullets from the summit of the top-flight league as the People’s Team are on bye this weekend.
Silver and Bullets are tied on 45 points from 21 games apiece, but the People’s Team sit at the top courtesy of a better goal difference.
In an interview on Thursday, Silver assistant coach McDonald Mtetemera said it will be payback time this afternoon
He said: “We had a two-week break and that gave us ample time to train. We are going to win at all costs.
“It is true Civo have had an edge over us in the recent past because we made some mistakes in those games. But we have worked on our shortfalls and the boys are raring to go.”
The Central Bankers will be boosted by the return of three players—defenders Mark Fodya and Nixon Mwase and striker Maxwell Gasten Phodo—form national duty.
The trio were with the Flames in Port Elizabeth, South Africa for the Cosafa Cup where they made their international debuts.
Phodo, who is the league’s leading scorer with 12 goals, is expected to lead the Central Bankers’ attack aided by Stain Davie, Duncan Nyoni and former Civo captain Blessings Tembo.
Should Tembo feature, it will be his second outing for two different teams within the season, having starred for the Civil Servants in the first round.
On the other hand, Civo are sixth on the log table with 33 points from 21 games and will be out to claim a double over Silver.
Civo United assistant coach Elia Kananji said they understand the vengeance mood in their rivals’ camp.
“They will be out to revenge, but we won’t give them room. It is not only about points, but pride and superiority.
“We have beaten them twice in a row and they will be playing under pressure to please their fans. I am confident we will win taking into account the preparations we had,” he said.
The Civil Servants are also under pressure to to deliver after being booted out of the FDH Bank Cup by minnows Sable Farming last week.
Civo top striker Muhammad Sulumba, who was also with the national team in South Africa, is their trump card and is set to partner Ranken Mwale in attack.