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Battle of four

THRILLING AFFAIR—Wanderers vs rivals Bullets

The soccer fraternity is in for an early fiesta of the 2023 season with four teams lining up for battle in the FCB Nyasa Bullets pre-season bonanza at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre starting from this afternoon.

The tournament involves hosts and Malawi Super league champions Bullets, Airtel Top 8 champions Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Mozambican champions UD Songo and Ferroviario de Nampula.

Bullets open the tournament with a showdown against Nampula, before paving the way for Wanderers and Songo to lock horns later in the afternoon.

Action continues Saturday with an all-Mozambican affair between Songo and Nampula before the Blantyre derby involving Wanderers and Bullets takes centre stage in the last match of the day.

The bonanza hits the finale on Sunday, with Nampula taking on Wanderers while Bullets will line up against Songo.

The Mozambique champions arrived in the country Thursday afternoon whereas Nampula were expected later in the evening.

Nampula and Songo are not strangers in this tournament, having participated in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Nampula won the 2019 edition before Zimbabwe’s Chicken Inn lifted it the following year.

The tournament was not held in 2021 and 2022 due to the Covid pandemic.

The event is a perfect opportunity for the four teams to fine-tune ahead of the 2023 season.

Bullets and Wanderers will be hoping to exorcise the demons that have seen them fail to utilise home ground advantage.

It is expected that the bonanza will give all the four teams the opportunity to try new players.

Regardless of the results, the tournament will provide a picture of what to expect in the upcoming season.

New players in the Bullets camp are Chawanangwa Gumbo and Maxwell Gasten Phodo while Wanderers have Lawrence Chaziya, Christopher Kumwembe, Mphatso Kamanga, Gaddie Chirwa, Dalitso Khungwa and Emmanuel Nyirenda.

Ahead of the bonanza, Wanderers took on Civil Service United in a match that ended 1-1 at Balaka Stadium on Wednesday. Bullets Chief Administration Officer said all is set for the tournament.

“All logistical arrangements have been finalised. We expect fans to come in their large numbers and enjoy the action,” Chigoga said.

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