The second and last lap of the 2019 TNM Super League rolls into life this afternoon with nine intriguing ties.
After a two-week break, leaders Be Forward Wanderers are on the road to face second-placed Kamuzu Barracks (KB) in a top-of-the-table clash at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe this afternoon whereas defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets host Masters Security at Kamuzu Stadium.
Wanderers and KB had a cat-and-mouse chase in the first round as they battled for the top spot.
But at the end of the first lap, the Nomads opened a three-point gap over the soldiers as they amassed 33 points against KB’s 30.
It is now time to separate men from boys as teams embark on their last 15 matches of the elite league.
The title chase is still wide open with Wanderers, KB, Bullets, Silver Strikers, Blue Eagles, TN Stars and Civil Sporting still in contention.
The gap between the seven teams is nine points, which means they all have mathematical chances of laying their hands on the coveted title.
Wanderers have the best maximum points at 78 should they win all their games, against KB’s 75.
Third-placed Bullets have 29 points with a maximum point count of 74 whereas Silver Strikers, who are fourth with 28 points, have a chance to accumulate 73 points should they collect full points in all their remaining games.
But consistence, class and quality will determine winners of the league. The title race is just like a marathon–it does not matter how you start but how you finish it. So only the fittest will survive at the end of the season with the three weakest teams dropping to regional leagues.
The Nomads will be hoping to return to winning ways after wrapping up the first lap with a 3-1 loss to Moyale at Kamuzu Stadium whereas KB drew 0-0 against TN Stars at Kasungu Stadium.
When the two sides met in the first round, Wanderers claimed a 2-0 victory at Kamuzu Stadium.
The Nomads might have indeed clinched full points but KB pose a real threat to them.
Both sides are hoping to reclaim the league championship this season after failing to win last season.
KB won their first-ever title in 2016 whereas Wanderers claimed their sixth title in 2017.
Wanderers assistant Coach, Oscar Kaunda, knows the importance of the match in their mission to win this year’s crown.
“We have to be cautious after beating them in the first round. They will come hard on us looking for revenge. It is our hope that we will get maximum points and increase our chances of winning the title,” Kaunda said.
In this afternoon’s clash, Wanderers have deadly weapons in Babatunde Adepoju, Francis Mkonda, Francisco Madinga Junior and Isaac Kaliati.
But the Nomads will have to tread carefully as the soldiers beat them 2-1 at the same venue in 2016.
KB Coach, Billy Phambala, said his charges will go into the match with guns blazing in a bid to grab their second title.
“We dropped more points in the first round because of draws, so we need to up the tempo in the second round. Our squad has some inexperienced players but I am happy that they are maturing now. Wanderers should expect a good run for their money,” Phambala said.
The soldiers have great talent in players such as Chikoti Chirwa, Marshal Maluwa, Manase Chiyesa and Sammy
At Kamuzu Stadium, Bullets and Masters hope to put their Caf competitions disappointment behind them as lock horns.
In other matches, Civil face Dwangwa United at Chitowe Stadium whereas Savenda Chitipa United take on TN Stars at Karonga Stadium.
Action continues Sunday with Silver facing Eagles at Silver Stadium whereas Mighty Tigers host Mlatho Mponela at Kamuzu Stadium.
Rookies Ntopwa are on the road with two matches against Mzuni tomorrow before meeting Moyale on Monday.
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