Struggling giants Silver Strikers and Mighty Wanderers are hoping to bounce back when they clash in the TNM Super League this afternoon at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.
The Central Bankers go into this showdown fresh from a 0-1 loss to Blue Eagles last weekend while the Nomads also sang blues after going down 2-1 to Kamuzu Barracks (KB).
Silver, who finished second last season, lie on an unenviable 10th in the 16-team top-flight with eight points from six matches, having won, drawn and lost twice while the Nomads are fifth with 10 points from five games.
It is a record not pleasant for Silver’s stature and their team manager Peter ‘Shoes’ Mgangira admitted that they are under pressure.
He said: “Of course, pressure is there because we haven’t started well.
“But pressure is pleasure because character is built out of that.
“We have been playing well and creating chances in the first half, but we have not been able to take them and we have drummed into the players on the need to bury even half a chance.
“Nevertheless, we are ready and looking forward to the match.”
The Area 47-based side will be without three kay players, namely, defender NicksonMwase, winger Blessings Tembo and their talisman ChawanangwaKaonga.
Mwase will be serving suspension for accumulating two yellow cards while Temboand the league’s joint leading scorerKaonga are nursing injuries.
But Mgangira played down their absence, saying they have depth in their squad and the absence of the trio should give others a chance to impress.
Silver will look up to Stain Dave and Maxwell GastenPhodo upfront while experienced TawongaChimodzi, Duncan Nyoni, ZebronKalima and Patrick Macheso will control the engine room.
On the other hand, Wanderers assistant coach Joseph Kamwendo said this afternoon’s contest is a must-win for the LaliLubani Road side.
He said: “Of course, we are coming from a loss, but this is a different game and we have put that aside and our focus is on this game and the approach will be different.
“We have worked on the shortfalls we noted during the game against KB and we are geared to collect maximum points.”
Striker Vincent Nyangulu, who is tipped to mesh potently with ChiukepoMsowoya upfront, carries the Nomads’ hopes while Yamikani Chester, FransiscoMkonda, VitumbikoKumwenda and BakilinhoMwakanyongo will man the midfield.
Last season, the two teams played out a goalless draw in the first-round while the Nomads emerged 1-0 winners in the second round via Mwaungulu’s strike.
Elsewhere, league leaders Blue Eagles travel to Blantyre to face rookies Sable Farming at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre.
The Malawi Police Service-sponsored side will be yearning to continue their unbeaten run which has seen them drop only two points in seven matches while Sable, who are 14th with five points from five games, are itching to get out of the relegation zone.
Eagles coach EliaKananji said they expect a tough encounter against Sable.
He said: “They might be new in the Super League, but the bulk of their players have experience in the top league. So, we cannot toy around with the idea of underrating them.
“They play good passing football, but we are ready for them. We want to continue with our good run.”
His Sable counterpart Joseph Malizani said they do not feel intimidated with the cops’ good run.
“We are concentrating on our game plan and we’ll take them head on,” he said.
In another match, Red Lions host Rumphi United at Balaka Stadium.