Big Bullets seek response
Anger and hunger are twin forces that should motivate Nyasa Big Bullets when they host wounded Azam Tigers at Chilomoni Stadium in Blantyre Thursday afternoon.
Bullets are angry that their dream of a treble has shrunk to a double following Sunday’s 4-5 post-match penalty loss to Moyale Barracks in the Fisd Challenge Cup semi-final.
The People’s Team are also hungry for more silverware as they seek to add another collection to their trophy cabinet which, so far, has the Carlsberg Cup.
More crucially, Bullets know a win Thursday can see them move to within a point of rivals and leaders, Be Forward Wanderers.
Bullets, chasing an unprecedented 14th league title, are on second place on the log table with 54 points from 25 games, four points behind Wanderers.
A win for the People’s Team can take their tally to 57 points and turn the heat on the Nomads who would have a game in hand.
The odds seem heavily staked against Tigers, who are coachless after Patrick Kulemeka, a few weeks ago, stepped aside to reportedly concentrate on some online studies.
Kulemeka’s absence has weaknened further a modest side that is full of raw talent that is let down by poor incentives and depth.
Tigers usually feature William Thole in goal in front of the defence of Martin Chongwe, Bonda Mpinganjira and Clifford Kankhuni whereas Captain Peter Cholopi can play slightly ahead as a midfield enforcer.
Tigers have been struggling to score and interim coaches, Charles Chikoti and Chikaiko Bridge, should be hoping for better finishing from Peter Katsonga and Luke Chima.
Tigers’ front-line can take advantage of the three-man Bullets defence.
Tigers, who are placed 10th on the log table with 30 points from 26 games, badly need two more wins to be safe from the drop zone, lest other bottom teams catch up with them.
To beat Bullets is to have a thick psychological skin required when playing in front of a volatile and partisan crowd. Bullets also can win matches from nothing due to the individual brilliance of the likes of Nelson Kangunje, Fischer Kondowe and Emmanuel Zoya.
Kondowe yesterday said they were determined to preserve their unbeaten run in all competitions at the Chilomoni venue.
“We have moved on after that loss to Moyale. Afterall, penalties are a gamble. They go either way. Overall, we are playing well and we are treating Tigers just like any opponent,” Kondowe said.
Bullets will be without leading league scorer, Chiukepo Msowoya, but that is a minor irritant for interim Coach, Rodgers Yasini, as he is spoilt with options in the likes of Muhammad Sulumba, Collen Nkhulambe, Musa Manyenje and Bright Munthali.
Next for Bullets is a game against Silver on Sunday at Kalulu Stadium whereas the Nomads host Civil Sporting Club at Balaka Stadium the same day.
Bullets (3-5-2): Rabson Chiyenda, Yamikani Fodya, John Lanjesi, Zoya, Chimango Kayira, Kangunje, Kondowe, Mike Mkwate, Manyenje, Sulumba, Nkhulambe.
Tigers (4-4-2): Thole, Kankhuni, Chongwe, Mpinganjira, Hankie Machila, Cholopi, Precious Phiri, Stain Pendame, Dan Kumwenda, Katsonga, Chima
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