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Derby fever grips nine debutants

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With battle lines drawn and time steadily ticking towards the TNM Super League match between rivals Big Bullets and Be Forward Mighty Wanderers, some players are sweating profusely at the prospect of featuring in their first ever Blantyre derby.

Kamuzu Stadium would be the centre of attraction for soccer lovers tomorrow as it hosts the country’s biggest derby.

Both teams have new players that would feature in the derby for the first time.

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Big-spenders, Wanderers have the likes of midfielder Isaac Kaliati, full-back Stanley Sanudi, Precious Msosa, Peter Munthali, playmaker Jabulani Linje and holding midfielder Malumbo Gondwe donning the famous Nomads jersey against Bullets.

Similarly, the People’s Team have forward Chiukepo Msowoya, midfielder Enaya Banda and Amos Khamula getting ready to feature in their first derby.

Kaliati, formerly of Azam Tigers, said he was looking forward to the game as he lines up against Bullets in Wanderers colours for the first time.

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“This is a game where every player looks forward to. I would like to impress to repay the team for the trust they showed to sign me. We have had impressive preparations,” said the utility player.

On his part, Msowoya said he intends to help Bullets overcome Wanderers.

“Being a derby, we expect massive patronage. It is my wish that we should carry the day,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials from both teams have been involved in verbal war.

Wanderers’ team manager Steve Madeira said they cannot afford to lose to Bullets at this moment.

“We are opening a new leaf and we can’t allow Bullets to beat us. Last weekend losing to Silver was a setback but we can’t lose to Bullets it is unacceptable,” he said.

Bullets technical director, Billy Tewesa, said they were seething with rage following comments Nomads coach Elia Kananji made in one of the local radio stations.

“To us drawing the match would be a major setback. We are angry with remarks which our former coach [Elia Kananji] made that he was the one who inflated us so he is going to deflate us. Wanderers will lose because of the attitude from the coach,” he said.

Bullets are on top with 23 points from 11 matches while Wanderers have 21 points from 10 games.

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