The first round of the 2020/21 TNM Super League season is expected to bring contrasting emotions as it winds up this afternoon.
Three matches have been lined up today with defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets hosting TN Stars at Kamuzu Stadium whereas Civil Service United will face Be Forward Wanderers at Civo Stadium.
Another match on the last day of the first round involves bottom-placed Mzuzu Warriors and rejuvenated Kamuzu Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium.
All the six teams in action have contrasting mission. Bullets will be hoping to narrow the gap between them and leaders Silver Strikers.
Bullets, who lost 1-0 to Silver last week, trail the Bankers by nine points but a win against Stars in today’s match, would help them reduce it to six points.
On the other hand, Stars are eyeing a top eight finish in the first round should they get a positive result in this afternoon’s encounter.
Bullets Coach Kalitso Pasuwa is hoping for a quick response from his troops after last week’s disappointing outing.
“It is a game we need to be positive in whatever we are doing. We did not do well against Silver so we need to work hard to bring back the confidence of the boys,” he said.
The last time the two sides met Bullets beat Stars 2-0 in the last game of the 2019 season.
Stars Coach, Joseph Malizani, said they were on a revenge mission.
“Our aim is to get maximum points and I am confident we will make it,” Malizani said.
In Lilongwe, ninth placed Wanderers are hoping to book a top eight place in the first round to be seeded in the FDH Bank Cup.
The Nomads desperately need a victory to finish in the top eight in the first round after a disappointing start to the season.
On the part of Civo, they also need a victory to cement their place on position three, heading into the second round.
Ahead of the encounter, Nomads Coach Bob Mpinganjira said he was aiming to finish the first round on a high.
“We anticipate a tough match but the players are in the right frame of mind,” he said.
Wanderers defeated Civo 1-0 last season at the same venue, thanks to Francis Mlimbika’s goal from a free kick.
Civo assistant Coach, Elia Kananji, was also brimming with confidence of getting maximum points.
The hosts have only lost a single game in the first round. Civo are third with 25 points from 14 matches whereas the Nomads have 19 points from the same number of matches.
At Mzuzu Stadium, Warriors have a chance to move out of the bottom of the table if they beat KB this afternoon.
Warriors anchor the log table with 11 points from 14 matches but a win in today’s game can take them to position 14.