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The Cosafa Castle Cup draw is finally out and the tournament will be played in South Africa’s North West province from June 25 to July 9 2017.

Malawi has been paired against Tanzania, Angola and Mauritius in Group A while Group B comprises Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Seychelles.

A top side in each pool will advance to the quarter-finals to complete the quarter-final list which has other tasty fixtures lined up involving Botswana and Zambia while Namibia will play against Lesotho.

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The Flames will start their group stage campaign against Tanzania who are the guest nation at this year’s tournament on June 25 before meeting Mauritius on June 27 and finally Angola on June 29.

The host nation South Africa and Swaziland are on standby and will face winners of Group A and Group B, respectively.

I do not know where some Malawians are getting their confidence to say this is a fair draw and yet there is empirical evidence that the Flames have been slumping in form.

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It is a flawed judgment to imagine that the Flames, a team which has become continental whipping boys, is in a fair group.

How do you justify your confidence when the team can afford to suffer back-to-back defeats to lowly-ranked Madagascar?

It is sacrilegious to trust a team that has played for 270 minutes without scoring a goal and it is slowly becoming a perfect template of how not to play football.

On the evidence of pedigree, Tanzania is relatively a stronger side than Malawi. The Flames have struggled to beat Tanzania in recent meetings.

It is ridiculous to underrate Angola; unless they decide to feature a reserve team that we struggled to beat 3-0 with our full strength side during the last Cosafa tournament.

It is recipe for disaster to underestimate Mauritius, the team that has been making strides in African football.

It is a fact that every Malawian is awaiting with bated breath the performance of the Flames and its mentor newly hired mentor Ronny van Geneugden during the forthcoming tournament.

The nation anticipates a lot from the highly decorated coach despite that he has already thrown us into doom and gloom for the three games he has been in charge of.

My simple advice is this; we cannot prevail by faith alone; we need thorough preparations and good tactical acumen from the western brain.

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