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Matters that decide derbies

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Be Forward Wanderers must find a way of keeping it water-tight at the back, playing more not to concede than to score, whereas Nyasa Big Bullets simply have to play with their usual panache and spirit.

The rest will take care of itself today during this first instalment of the Blantyre derby for the 2016 season.

It does not matter where you are, it is small, small finer details that define derbies in crazy Planet Football. It just does not matter where you are—a derby is a derby.

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Whether it is Cairo derby between Al Ahly and Zamalek, Soweto battle between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, Manchester grudge meeting between Manchester United and Manchester City, or Milan tussle between Inter Milan and AC Milan.

Such matches are for the strong-willed.

Skill or talent alone proves inadequate, if not irrelevant in this game—you need a big heart to see you through, a big head to help you survive and a work-rate of a caterpillar for you to last the 90 minutes.

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For Bullets and Wanderers, the season starts today as they have four points each from two games.

Comparatively, not the best of starts for Bullets but a promising one for Wanderers, who at this stage last season looked heading for a crisis.

Bullets, coached by Franco Ndawa, have depth in defence, midfield and striking force, but since games are won on pendulum of goals, no other player carries the expectations than Chiukepo Msowoya and Muhamad Sulumba.

Even minus star players, Bullets will always have a head-start over opponents due to their ability to play as a hungry collective unit—for their careers and for the fans.

Bullets have the balance and depth, whereas Wanderers have depth without spirit and balance, especially in defensive areas.

The weakness for Bullets is that everyone is under pressure to impress.

Ndawa might still be trying combinations and players might be nursing hang-overs of past glory.

Wanderers have this decade been displaying all-star individualism spirit due to seemingly unceasing changing and chopping of coaches and players.

The Nomads are, on their day, just capable of beating any opponent so the ball has been thrown into the tactical domain of Coach Jack Chamangwana to make up for the 2-0 loss to Bullets during recent Chifundo Charity Cup in Lilongwe.

Nigerian striker Amos Bello, seasoned Peter Wadabwa, Isaac Kaliati and Francis Mlimbika can turn a game on its head any minute. All they need is to turn up for the game.

The derby dates back to 1960s when a splinter group of Wanderers players beefed up Blantyre City Council team to turn them into giants.

Yasin Osman’s crossing of the floor from Wanderers to Bullets set the final fire for the rivalry. The rest is history

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