TNM Super League defending champions Silver Strikers are relishing the opportunity of regaining the top spot this afternoon when they engage their capital city rivals Civo United at the latter’s backyard, Civo Stadium.
The Bankers are currently on second position with 40 points from 19 games, but they have a three-game cushion over current leaders Blantyre United who have two points more.
Silver coach Franco Ndawa said they will approach all their remaining games as cup finals in the quest to retain the league title.
“Tomorrow’s [Saturday] game is important for us considering that it will have a huge impact in our quest to defend the league title.
“Much as it is dubbed a big match, the preparations have been normal because we do not want to put ourselves under unnecessary pressure,” Ndawa said on Friday.
The Bankers have enjoyed a remarkable run over their rivals this season, beating them twice.
Civo froze like flat-footed penguins when the two sides clashed in a Standard Bank Knockout semi-final match which the Bankers won 4-1. Silver also came out victors in the first round of the Super League, with a narrow 1-0 victory.
However, the showdown will provide Civo coach Thom Mkolongo, who was unceremoniously dumped by the Bankers at the end of the first round, an opportunity to prove a point.
At that time, he had guided the Bankers to finish the first round at the summit of the table.
However, Mkolongo said he bears no grudge against his former team and to him this will be just another game.
“I have no ill-feelings against Silver and we will approach this game just like any other match. We are aware that it creates a lot of excitement, but our focus is to do well and improve on our standings on the log table,” said Mkolongo.
Civo are currently on sixth position with 35 points from 22 games.
However, the Civil Servants will take to the pitch without their hitman Dan Katunga who is serving a two-yellow card suspension. But Mkolongo still has enough armoury in the likes of Jabulani Linje, Lawrence Mwehiwa and Chawanangwa Kawonga.
On the other hand, the star-studded Silver will look up to Frank Banda, Peter Pindani, Dave Moya, Blessings Tembo and marksman Rodrick Gonani.