Forget the crazy TNM Super League’s championship race. Discard convention. Turn the 16-member log table upside down. See the meaning of survival of the fittest–if not the quickest.
While Max Bullets and Karonga United seem every bit strong relegation candidates, Civo United, Dwangwa United and Premier Bet Wizards are walking a tight rope.
As per Super League of Malawi’s rules and regulations, three teams will be relegated at the end of the season to create room for three regional Premier Division champions.
With eight points from 20 games, the bottom-placed, Max Bullets, as was the case with previous Southern Region Premier Division champions, are waving good bye to the top league.
The 15th-placed Karonga are not safe either. They might be stingy with points at home, but away they donate them with reckless abandon.
Unsurprisingly, the Kondwani Mwalweni’s side have a mere 18 points from 21 games, one point behind 14th and 13th placed Wizards and Civo, respectively. Dwangwa are on 12th position also with 19 points from 22 games.
When the league had 15 teams, the survival mark was 30 points. But now with 16 teams, the safety net might shift to 35 points. Civo, Dwangwa and Wizards are living dangerously.
The only outside chance for Civo, Dwangwa and Wizards to remain in the league could emerge if Malawi Defence Force (MDF) stick to their plan of axing their team that finishes the lowest on the log table.
From next season, MDF want to have only three teams in the Super League.
Currently, there are four MDF clubs in the Super League with fourth-placed Mafco as the highest performers followed by Kamuzu Barracks, then Moyale Barracks and Red Lions down the ladder.
Overall, the log table shows that the bottom five teams—Max Bullets, Karonga, Dwangwa, Wizards and Civo— are being betrayed by their failure to win on the road. The best they have all achieved away are draws.
Karonga’s mentor, Mwalweni, is nonetheless positive of his side’s survival in the league.
“It is too early to give up,” Mwalweni told the press during the week.
It appears that a team that has more away games might kiss the top-flight league good bye.
Fixtures seem to favour Wizards who have five home matches out of their eight, including today’s meeting against Be Forward Wanderers.
Still in the bottom half, Dwangwa have an equal number of home and away games in their remaining eight assignments.
However, Civo, who also have 19 points, have tougher and more five games away compared to three at their backyard.
The odds are against the Charles Manda’s side who must play away against title contenders, Nyasa Big Bullets, Blue Eagles, Mafco and Silver Strikers.
The three giants cannot afford to drop points at this stage so if Civo hope to survive, they must beat equally tough nuts to crack Mzuni, Tigers and Azam Tigers.
Further down the table, Karonga welcome three teams while travelling five times, including to meet Bullets, Silver, Red Lions, Max Bullets and Epac. It is getting scary.
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