By Eric Chiputula:
Battle Lines have been drawn ahead of Sunday’s Capital City derby involving bitter sworn Rivals Civo service United and Silver Strikers.
The two capital giants will come face to face against each in back to back weeks after they also clashed last Sunday in the Lilongwe Soccer Fiesta Bonanza in which Silver won 3-2.
However this time the two are meeting in the opening weekend of the tnm super league a fixture many would have loved to come not at this early stage of the season.
Speaking ahead of the derby, Silver Coach Daniel Kabwe said his troops are ready for the challenge.
“I know of the challenge our opponents pose as evidenced from their last sunday’s dominance in a game which they lost,” Kabwe told reporters in Lilongwe on Friday.
According to Kabwe, he believes that he has assembled a squad capable of challenging for the tittle and Sunday’s test provides a litmus test for his players.
“These are games that win you tittles and we have to make our intentions clear that we are in for some serious Bussines and this Sunday people will see a completely transformed Silver team that is ready to challenge for Silverware,” said the Zambia tactician.
But reacting to Kabwe’s sentiments, Civo Team Manager Gabriel Chirwa described Kabwe’s remarks as just wishiful thinking.
“I know he is not at peace. His team has not performed well in pre-season matches and we are just going to pile more misery on him come this sunday,” said Chirwa.
According to Chirwa his charges will just continue from where they left off last season as they managed to collect 4 points in 2 encounters against their noisy neighbours.
And elsewhere in Blantyre Defending Champions Nyasa Big Bullets kickstart their tittle defence with a clash against Blue Eagles at Kamuzu Stadium in this season’s season opener.
Assistant Coach Peter Mponda told MIJ FM radio his side is geared up for the tittle defence.
“Ofcourse of preparations did not go according to plan due to Covid-19 restrictions but we managed to have a successful pre-season camping in Mangochi and we believe our players are in shape and ready for the challenge,” said the former flames captain.
Eagles Captain Micium Mhone has told The Atlas Malawi that they are going to Blantyre with one mission in mind and that is to collect maximum points.
“I know they humiliated us last time we played them at their backyard but that is water under the bridge this is a new season and a new challenge altogether,” said Mhone.
In other fixtures, the Marauding Tigers from Kanjedza will host Kasungu based TN stars on Sunday at Kamuzu Stadium.
This is a clash of two sides that finished around mid table last season.
TN stars will have to start life without their marksman Stain Dave who joined Silver Strikers during pre-season as well as captain Blessings Phiri who has joined the Malawi Defense Force.
However Coach Joseph Malizani says he has assembled a squad capable of getting a result in Blantyre.
“I know the focus will be on who has replaced Stain but that should not be an issue as we have found equally capable replacements,” said Malizani.
On his part Robin Alfandika technical Director for Tigers FC said the KauKau boys are in for serious Bussines this season to challenge for a top four finish.
“Just watch this space and let’s talk after five games in the first round.We have assembled a youth energetic squad that has the hunger to achieve success,” said Abambo.
And in Mzuzu, Financially troubled Mzuzu United play host to Be Forward Wanderers while in Karonga it’s a battle of familiar faces as Karonga United host Chitipa United at Karonga Stadium.