After a two-week break as fans were busy cheering for Flames in the 2023 TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations Qualifiers, they are now back to local football as the Malawi’s elite League, TNM Super League resumes.
The League resumed in style as the Chiradzulu based farmers, Sable Farming beat the current-struggling Mighty Waka Waka Tigers by two goals to nill on Wednesday at Mulanje Park Stadium in MacDonald Mtetemera’s second game as the coach for the Club.
This weekend, games are across the nation as local fans in all the three regions are going to watch entertaining football, perhaps, better than fast and very fast football philosophy that they have watched when Flames played against Guinea and Ethiopia.
They are all hyperphasia-giving games, both on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, in Blantyre, the struggling Kau Kau Boys, Mighty Waka Waka Tigers are taking on the highly flying, Nyasa Big Bullets at Kamuzu Stadium.
Unlike Bullets who are yet to taste the bitterness of defeat, the Kanjedza-based boys are in Victory-drought as they have gone five games consecutively without a win.
Blue Eagles terminated Tigers’ run of good results when they beat them 3-0 at Nkankhaka before Mafco, Karonga, Civil and Sable stabing on their wounds.
However, a game against the Ndirande based boys, form matters not as they give them a good run of their money. Its a Blantyre derby and players battle for bragging rights.
The sixth placed Tigers last beat Bullets back in 2011 when they recorded a whooping 3-0 victory at Kamuzu Stadium.
In their last 32 meetings, The Champions have won 20 times while Tigers have 5 wins in their records with 7 games ending in stalemate.
Going into the game, Nyasa Big Bullets are the favourite and they will be eager to beat their rivals as they are aiming to retain the League Championship.
However, Technical Director for Mighty Waka Waka Tigers, Reuben Alufandika has cautined Bullets of underrating them.
“We wash away our previous results, we look forward to today’s game. We are ready to turn the table today.
“We have talked to the boys and they know the importance of the game. We need the points to qualify for the top 8.
“We are with them today, we will not allow them to get it easily, ” said Alufandika.
Taking his turn, Peter Mponda asistant Coach for Bullets, said Bullets have done their preparations very well and are looking to extend their unbeaten run to 13 games.
However, ‘Mjojo’ says the break may affect their teams performance and on the other side, may improve on some areas.
“You know how we were performing before the break, we were playing well and winning games but we may lose momentum because of the break but on the other part, we have had preparations without pressure as we were correcting some of our problems.” Said Mponda.
Meanwhile, Mponda has confirmed that four boys namely, Alick Lungu, Eric Kaonga, Yamikani Fodya and John Lanjesi are ruled out against Tigers due to injuries.
Their Maestro midfielder, Chimwemwe Idana who has won the Hubertus Clausias player of the month for May is likely to be the Back borne for the Kalisto Pasuwa’s Boys.
Babatunde Adepoju who is leading the scoring chart in the League will be zealous to extend his tally as he is receiving a stiff competition from Wanderers’ in-form strikers Mhammad Sulumba and Chiukepo Msowoya.
The newly-signed Ghanaian defender, Isaac Badu is likely to make his first appearance in Red and White Colours after being given thw green lights to play.
Their reserve material, Patrick Mwaungulu who is in good form is likely to continue running the show.
Mighty Tigers will miss their captain, Iven Mwakapenda who will be serving his suspensions after accumulating maximum number of yellow cards consecutively.
Will Tigers break the jinx?
In the Northen Region, Etson Kadenge-Mwafulirwa’s Ekwendeni Hammers will take on the Zomba based Soldiers, Red Lions at Rumphi Stadium.
Both teams are lacking consistency in League this season as they both have one win each in their respective last games.
Last season, Red Lions claimed a double over the Hammers after beating them 1-0 at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre courtesy of Royal Bokosi before hammering them 3-0 in a return fixture at Mzuzu Stadium with Gondwe on a double and Mathews Simbeye.
Etson Kadenge Mwafulirwa says his charges are readg for the showdown.
“Memories are still fresh, they beat us last season home and away and we are ready to take maximum points.
” Looking at the table, we need more points, ” said Mwafulirwa.
Both Ekwendeni and Red Lions are on relegation threats as they are only 2 and 3 points respetively above relegation zone
The hosts are on number 13 with 11 points from 11 games while the visitors sit 12th with 12 points from the corresponding games.
For this matter, a win for either team will be huge.
Chikoti Chirwa, Andrew Biyo, Hankey Machira, Jacob Kaunda, Moses Nankumba will be the pillars for Red Lions while the Hosts will place their trust on Josephy Mbewe, Blessings Singini, Chancy Mtete among others.
Silver will welcome The Lions of Kaning’ina at Silver Stadium.
On Sunday, the second placed Blue Eagles will travel to Blantyre where they will face the in-form Mighty Wanderers, Civo will travel to Kasungu to play against Thomas Nyirenda Stars, Rumphi will take on Karonga and the Venom, Kamuzu Barracks will rock horns against the ressurected Sable Farming.