Blue Eagles and Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar open their 2022 Airtel Top 8 Cup instalment when they face-off in the first leg of the quarterfinal at Nankhaka Stadium this afternoon.
The two sides are meeting for the third time this season having met twice in the TNM Super League. They drew 0-0 in the first round at Balaka Stadium before Eagles thrashed Dynamos 4-0 in the reverse fixture.
They will face each other in the second leg on December 3 at Dedza Stadium.
For Eagles, they return to the Airtel Top 8 having missed the 2021 edition.
But Eagles are no strangers in the competition, having won it once after they beat Nyasa Big Bullets 1-0 in the final in 2018.
On the part of Dynamos, they will be making their debut in the competition.
Honestly, fireworks are expected in this afternoon’s match.
Eagles Technical Adviser Wilson Chidati said his troops are cautious ahead of the tie.
“It is a tricky fixture. Dedza are a very good team and they are playing well. Playing at home is an advantage but cup games are always tricky,” Chidati said.
In this afternoon’s match, Eagles will be without defender Sankhani Mkandawire and Maxwell Salambula due to injuries.
However, captain Schumacher Kuwali, Micium Mhone, Gaddie Chirwa and Paul Master are available for selection.
Sounding calm and composed, Dynamos Coach Dan Dzinkambani said his side will be looking for a win in the first leg.
“It is good to start away and we want to get a win at their own backyard. I do not see them winning at Dedza in the second leg,” Dzinkambani said. Dynamos will welcome striker Charles Chipala who was on holiday.
Promise Kamwendo, Clement Nyondo and Victor Lungu are carrying Dedza’s hopes in this afternoon’s encounter.
The Airtel Top 8 Cup kicked off last week as holders Bullets thrashed Karonga United 7-0 at Kamuzu Stadium. Bullets will travel to Karonga for the second leg on November 26 at Karonga Stadium.
Mighty Mukuru Wanderers started the campaign on a high after beating Mafco 2-0 at Kamuzu Stadium.
Mafco will host Wanderers at Chitowe Stadium on November 27. The semifinals will be played on December 10 and 11 with the final scheduled for December 17 at a venue yet to be announced.