The TNM Super League enters its sixth week with Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers back in action following the completion of their Airtel Top 8 Cup commitments last weekend.
Six games are on the menu Sunday as all the attention Saturday switches to the Flames’ match against Comoros Islands at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
After finishing as runners up behind Silver Strikers in the inaugural cup tournament, the Nomads face in-form Premier Bet Wizards at Mulanje Park.
The fixture comes at a time when Wanderers’ players reportedly staged a sit in strike on Tuesday over unpaid allowances.
The development will likely affect them against Wizards who are yet to lose at the newly-constructed match venue.
Having played only one league game against defending champions Kamuzu Barracks which they won 1-0 at Civo Stadium, the Lali Lubani Road Boys are stuck on position 12 with 3 points.
The game against Wizards will give a picture on how serious they are in their quest to compete for the league title after missing it for 11 years.
The Nomads’ Team Manager, Steve Madeira, is upbeat of ending the high-flying Wizards’ unbeaten run.
Madeira said his team is not underrating Wizards but insisted that losing to a side like Wizards will be unacceptable to the blue-and-white family.
“We have forgotten about the Top 8 Cup loss. We are back in the league to continue from where we stopped in the opening match against Kamuzu Barracks. We know Wizards have improved a lot this season but we are not shaken. We are going to Mulanje with an aim of winning. Our boys are aware about the long absence of the league championship and this is the time to show that we are hungry for league success,” said Madeira.
However, Wizards Coach, Trevor Kajawa, said he knows that Wanderers are going into the match with the aim of redeeming themselves from the cup final embarrassment.
Kajawa said with the likes of Niikiza Aimable, Jelesi Lufeyo, Ian Chinyama and Tilekeleni Joseph finding their form after joining on loan from Nyasa Big Bullets, his team will not allow Wanderers to dent their unbeaten run.
He attributed his team’s good run to the signing of experienced players who have blended well with their young counterparts.
“Let me congratulate my boys for their hard working spirit. This is our third season since joining the elite league. In our first season, we finished the first round with only 9 points. We improved in the second season to finish with 11 points and now at five matches, we have managed to collect 11 points with 10 games remaining to wind up the first round. This is quite remarkable as we look forward to facing the Nomads”, said Kajawa.
In another tricky match, Top 8 champions Silver Strikers lock horns with Super League defending champions Kamuzu Barracks (KB) at Civo Stadium.
KB are yet to find consistency and rhythm this season having played three matches and collecting 4 points.
The soldiers’ coach, Billy Phambala, admitted pressure going into the match saying the two sides play a similar pattern of football.
“Last season we beat them home and away but this year they seem to be tough. We know they want to prove that they are coming from a cup victory but we are set to stop them. All the boys are good and we have vowed to win this match”, said Phambala.
But coach for the Bankers, Lovemore Fazili, said facing Kamuzu Barracks in a space of three weeks is tough for them.
Fazili said he knows that the soldiers will seek revenge after losing their Top 8 semifinal match two weeks ago.
“As we indicated earlier on, this is our harvest year and we have started with the Top 8 cup. Our focus is on winning the league. We have not done enough in the league for the past four season and we want to make it this year”, Fazili explained.
In another equally exciting match, rejuvinated Nyasa Big Bullets face stubborn Mzuni FC at Nchalo Stadium.
Bullets failed to find the net in their first four league and cup games. They are yet to start using new catch Nelson Kangunje whose International Transfer Clearance was expected to be ready this week.
The Peoples Team has managed to win the last two games against Civil Sporting Club and Blantyre United and currently lie on position 6.
Team Manager James Chilapondwa is optimistic that the team will continue to deliver.
Chilapondwa said the team’s last two wins do not mean much because they lost five points in Mzuzu during their two opening matches.
“The team is now scoring but we had some problems when we beat Blantyre United last week because we conceded in the dying minutes of the first half. Mzuni is another tough side and we need to be careful. We are urging our fans to rally behind us in Nchalo because if we beat Mzuni, will move to the top three,” Chilapondwa said.
Mzuni have played five games and the students are third in the standings with nine points.
They will be in the Southern Region without assistant coach Millius Pofera, who resigned this week after his employers declined his transfer request.
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