Battle for supremacy

 Battle for supremacy

 This is it. FCB Nyasa Bullets and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers enmity will once again shake the football fraternity as the two

side clash in a 2024 TNM Super League first round Blantyre derby at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre today.

As usual, the derby has been preceded with some mind games as the two giants sides jostled on who should officiate the match.

But this afternoon that should be put aside as the sides square up in a fight for points in the race for the top flight league title.

As it was last season: Bullets captain Precious Sambani (R) challenges Wanderers’ Gaddie Chirwa

Interestingly, the two giants are tied on eight points with Wanderers on third position while Bullets are fourth, having both drawn twice and won twice.

Whoever wins in this fixture will, therefore, leapfrog the other and pile pressure on leaders Silver Strikers who have 10 points from three victories and a draw. The Central Bankers take on rookies Baka City FC at Karonga Stadium.

Suffice to say the past three league derbies have ended in draws which makes the two sides step into the arena on a same footing.

Both sides had mixed fortunes in the first four weeks of the season.

In their last weekend’s fixtures, Bullets edged newly-promoted Baka City FC 2-1 at home while the Nomads played out a goalless draw against Bangwe All Stars away.

Bullets coach Kallisto Pasuwa was cautious in a pre-match interview on the team’s preparations for the derby.

The Zimbabwean tactician said: “Derbies are very tricky. Each and every one wants to win. We only need to be positive. It’s the mind-set that will make one win. To our boys, don’t put yourself under too much pressure. The moment you do that, you end up making so many mistakes.

“So you need to be very careful because any mistake you make you are punished. We need to be tactically good in whatever we do.”

Wanderers assistant coach Meck Mwase told the media in a pre-match press conference that they are ready for the showdown.

He said: “ “It’s a new season. It’s new ideas. Our preparations have been going on well and we are ready for the game.

“We don’t have any serious injuries. Just some knocks. It’s a full house. If we are to miss someone it will be because of football reasons.

“We know our rivals are champions. But as I have said, this is a new season. We also want to be champions. We want to collect full points.”

The two sides’ squads have not changed much since last November 5 2023 league derby when they drew one-all.

Wanderers almost have the same squad with playmaker Wisdom Mpinganjira set to influence the Nomads attack pattern alongside Christopher Kumwembe, Felix Zulu, Isaac Kaliati, Gaddie Chirwa and Stanley Sanudi.

New faces in the Nomads squad are Blessings Singini, Clement Nyondo and Timothy Silwimba who joined them at the beginning of the season.

Bullets, on the other hand, look more different than the Nomads.

Goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda, Eric Kaonga, McFarlen Mgiwra and Yamikani Fodya are no longer with the People’s Team.

Midfielder Frank Willard is also ruled out due to a prolonged injury, so too Chikumbutso Salima and Gastin Phodo who netted the equaliser in the last derby.

New faces in the squad include Lloyd Aaron, Mathews Masamba, Zimbabweans Collins Mujuru and Ronald Chitiyo and Sean McBrams while Ephraim Kondowe has a chance to sample the first TNM Super League derby after missing the last one due to suspension.

Lanjesi Nkhoma, Patrick Mwaungulu, Mfune, Kajoke are all available for the tie while Nigerian Babatunde Adepoju is back after returning from South Africa.

Yamikani Mologeni also has a chance to taste the Blantyre derby following his promotion to the senior side upon his return from a loan spell at Bangwe All Stars

The post  Battle for supremacy first appeared on Nation Online.

The post  Battle for supremacy appeared first on Nation Online.