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Wizards in must-win tie against Nomads

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Former Flames captain Peter Mponda has, in his playing days, been involved in epic battles both on the local and international stage, but this afternoon he leads his young Fisd Wizards side in perhaps his biggest challenge when they face Be Forward Wanderers at Kamuzu Stadium in a Super League match they can’t afford to lose if they want to remain in the League.

Wizards are currently bottom of the standings with 21 points from 25 matches and they are five points from safety.

Wizards need five points to get to the safe zone and replace Dedza Young Soccer that are currently on position 12 with 26 points from 26 matches.

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Wizards need to at least win all their remaining three matches against Wanderers, Bullets and Blue Eagles to stand a chance of surviving relegation.

Mponda admitted that victory over Wanderers this afternoon would be the perfect catalyst for achieving a ‘great escape’.

“We know that Wanderers have not been doing well recently therefore they will come hard on us. But we also need all the three points therefore we will give out our best to get a win. We need to be playing with confidence all the time like the way we did against Dedza. I am looking forward to a committed performance from my players so that we should get a good result,” he said.

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Mponda, however, admitted that his side’s survival would also depend on results from elsewhere.

“We hope the other teams will lose all their matches so that we can move up the ranks,” he said.

After seeing his side produce a poor performance in a 1-0 loss to Azam Tigers last weekend, Mponda would be asking for more from his creative players Ernest Tambe, Mike Mkwate, Levison Maganizo and Bernard Chimaimba.

On their part, Wanderers had a brief break from their woes when they edged out Dedza Young Soccer 2-0 in Dedza last Sunday.

The Nomads’ coach Elia Kananji said he wants his team to win all the remaining three matches to achieve their target of finishing in the top six.

“We need to keep these good performances going. We want to automatically qualify for the Standard Bank Knockout Cup therefore victory is paramount. We can’t underrate Wizards because they are fighting against relegation. We expect a tough challenge from them,” he said.

Wanderers are currently sixth with 36 points, six points behind fourth-placed Silver Strikers.

The Nomads would rely on Khumbo Ng’ambi, Alfred Manyozo Junior and Isaac Kaliati to lead their attack.

The first round tie between the two sides was a close encounter, but the Nomads snatched a 1-0 win through Cameroonian Lionel Asu’s late strike.

A loss for Wizards today would almost certainly confirm their relegation from the topflight in their debut season.

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