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Flames ready for Togo showdown

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Malawi National Football Team Coach, Ronny van Geneugden, has said he has worked on the mental fitness of his players ahead of a strength testing match against Togo at Agadir Stadium in Morocco Monday.

The game kicks off at 5 o’clock Malawi time.

The coach said he will devise a playing system that will enable the Flames to dictate the pace of the game and go into this potentially ferocious battle with their confidence up.

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“We are not going into this game as underdogs. We will dictate the pace of the game,” he said.

Geneugden said so far the players have managed to clear the hurdle, which was fatigue, and his charges are ready to do the battle with Togo

He said a young Moroccan side took advantage of his players’ fatigue to pressurise them in the first 30 minutes of Friday’s game, but it will be different with Togo where all the players are in shape.

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“We changed the systems of play several times because the Moroccans knew that my players had the fatigue [after travelling for two days to Morocco]. But in this game, all the players are fine except Frank Banda who is ill,” he said.

The Belgian mentor said he would prefer to start the game with four defenders, three midfielders and three strikers.

During the Morocco game, the team started with three defenders, four midfielder and three strikers before it changed to a flat and safer 4-4-2 formation.

Togo’s Turkey-based striker Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to lead the onslaught.

Geneugden said the Togolese like playing long balls from the back because they have tall strikers.

He said he will do everything possible to instil recovery discipline at the back of his team which is marshalled by Limbikani Mzava, Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi and Dennis Chembezi, the youngster who is fast developing as a best defender on the domestic soccer scene.

Mzava, as a captain, has been influential at the back, giving instructions to the young players throughout the game.

However, the team will not shot of experience with the presence of veteran midfielder Robert Ng’ambi who had a dry cough during the first fixture but has managed to recover.

Whatever the case, today’s game would be a tougher test for the coach who is struggling to come up with the best squad for the Africa Nations Cup qualifiers having been grouped together with high flying Morocco, Cameroon and Comoros.

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