Injuries have ravaged Azam Tigers with four key players ruled out of a potentially titanic TNM Super League tussle against buoyant Be Forward Wanderers which is yet to drop a point in this campaign.
Ahead of the clash at Chilomoni Stadium this afternoon, the Kau Kau boys coach Patrick Kulemeka confirmed that strikers Peter Katsonga and Fraser Menyani and midfielders Mayeso Mphanje and Willy Kalonda will not be available for selection.
“All the four were injured in Mzuzu last week when we lost to Chitipa United (3-2). We will miss them because they have been instrumental in most of our games. Nonetheless, we have a squad of 25 and it is time for others to show their value,” he said.
Though Kulemeka was optimistic that Menyani with hip problem, Kalonda and Mphanje with muscle problems would return to action soon, he expects Katsonga to be out for a longer period.
“The three will not be out for a long time but Katsonga will be out for a long time because he is in POP [Plaster of Paris] right now,” he said.
Nomads eliminated Tigers from the Airtel Top 8 semi-finals but Kulemeka warned Wanderers that they will face a torrid afternoon.
“We have ironed our mistake from the matches we lost to Wanderers. We have designed a new approach because all we want are the three points,” said Kulemeka.
Tigers have 12 points just as Wanderers but the Nomads have played four games only while the Kau Kau boys have played eight times.
Wanderers were exempted from playing last weekend having contributed four players to the national team squad that played at the Cosafa Cup in South Africa.
They were striker Jabulani Linje, defender Francis Mlimbika, midfielder Yamikani Chester and right back Stanley Sanudi.
All returned on Friday after Malawi was booted out in group stages but Wanderers team manager Steve Madeira said the quartet will not feature.
“Our game plan is based on the players that were training with the team this week. Those that were with the national team will not play,” he said.
On Tigers warning that the Nomads should expect a tough time, the team manager said: “We have a game plan they have theirs and let us wait and see who triumphs but I can see nothing but a win for us.”
In other matches today, Moyale Barracks face Master Security at Mzuzu Stadium, Red Lions host Dwangwa United at Balaka Stadium while an all military battle awaits Mafco and Kamuzu Barracks at Chitowe ground. n