Analysis by Peter Kanjere:
The complexion of the TNM Super League’s top-three band can change from silver, red then blue if second-placed Nyasa Big Bullets survive from the jaws of unpredictable Red Lions Saturday and if leaders, Silver Strikers, dare drop points against Blue Eagles Sunday.
While Bullets and Silver will be jostling for the top seat, third-placed Be Forward Wanderers— who too have tricky away matches against Moyale Barracks Saturday then Mzuni FC Sunday —will be interested by-standers, hoping to take advantage of any slip up by the leading duo.
Silver lead the race with 27 points from 12 games, two points in front of Bullets who, like Wanderers, have a game in hand each.
Bullets are unbeaten at their new home—Mulanje Park Stadium—and can fancy their chances against the seventh-ranked Lions who have 17 points from 12 games.
A win for Bullets can see them back on top, at least for today, while keeping fingers crossed that the newly-crowned Airtel Top 8 kings, Eagles, should soar violently again to either frustrate or defeat Silver.
The only setback is that Eagles will be without Coach Deklerk Msakakuona who leaves today with the Malawi under-17 national team for Mauritius to participate in Cosafa Youth Championship.
Is he too worried leaving his Eagles? “Not really,” Msakakuona Friday said.
“It is the nature of the job. It is about serving the nation. I would be happy if both teams win.”
Elsewhere, Bullets, after dropping points in the away 2-2 draw against Dwangwa United followed by the 1-0 loss to Eagles in the Airtel final, bounced back last Sunday to thump Azam Tigers 3-0 with Nelson Kangunje, Fischer Kondowe and Patrick Phiri stepping up to the plate.
However, the People’s Team should, by now, know that the Lions, roared on by Benes Kaisi, Loti Chawinga, Innocent Bokosi, Boniface Kaulesi and McPeter Makwale, are not like the toothless Tigers.
Silver drew 1-1 against city rivals, Civil Sporting Club, last weekend and cannot afford any result save for a home win.
A galaxy of stars such as Khuda Muyaba, Green Harawa, Young Chimodzi junior, Jack Chiona and Mphatso Philimoni, are capable of striking fear in any defence, but such is the unpredictable race this season, opposing teams still find a way of snatching points from the sky blue money machine.
Eagles have won back-to-back games, beating Bullets to win the cup then Karonga United 2-1 in the league and go fifth with 17 points from 12 matches.
Such a run suggests that the police officers, under the command of Micium Mhone, Gilbert Chirwa and Stuart Mbunge, have some wind in their sail.
Whatever happens, the Nomads are ready to play the opportunist card because if they can collect six points at Mzuzu Stadium, then suddenly talk of their recent perceived crisis will fade like blue mist.
Maximum points in Mzuzu could see Bob Mpinganjira and his wards take their tally to 27 points—enough to either see them displace Bullets from the second-place or join Silver at the top.
However, it is difficult remembering the last time a team visited Mzuzu Stadium and returned with maximum points.
But if Wanderers beat Kamuzu Barracks and Eagles 2-1 and 3-0, respectively, when they hit the road a fortnight ago, then impossible is certainly not the vocabulary at the Lali Lubani Road.
After all, Mpinganjira since his appointment has presided over two defeats, three wins and one draw with Isaac Kaliyati in his true elements, thereby easing the burden of scoring on Peter Wadabwa and Esau Kanyenda.
So, the stage is set for the league’s driving seat to remain sky-blue, go red or switch to light blue. Over to you Silver, Bullets and Wanderers.
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