Civil Sporting Club and Nyasa Big Bullets’ unbeaten runs face stern tests when the two sides clash in a TNM Super League showdown this afternoon at the former’s backyard, Civo Stadium, in Lilongwe.
The Blantyre-based People’s Team sits pretty at the summit of the top-flight league with 13 points from five games. They only dropped points in the Blantyre derby against their age-old rivals Be Forward Wanderers, having played out a goalless draw.
On the other hand, the Civil Servants are third with 10 points from four matches. Having won three, they were denied full points by struggling Masters Security who held them to a one-all draw.
Bullets, fresh from their comprehensive 4-0 demolition of rookies TN Stars in Kasungu on Saturday, are cautious of today’s match.
Their coach Rogers Yasin said they are anticipating a tough match.
He said: “It will probably be one of our toughest games so far because we are up against a rejuvenated side. They have built a youthful and hungry squad
“They are not an ordinary team and are tough when playing at home. But we are ready for them.”
Yasin also said they have a full-strength squad apart from midfielder Righteous Banda who has just completed physiotherapy and is set to resume training tomorrow.
Ironically, Banda joined Bullets from Civil at the start of the season. Nevertheless, the People’s Team has enough armoury in the likes of Chiukepo Msowoya, Bright ‘Bweke’ Munthali, Chiukepo Msowoya, Precious Phiri, Henry ‘Magetsi’ Kabichi and their free-scoring ‘super-sub’ Patrick Phiri, who has scored in three successive matches.
On his part, Civil coach Frank ‘Franco’ Ndawa who spied on Bullets during their match against TN Stars, said they are set for the battle.
“Our target this season is winning the league and we are not looking back. Bullets are a big team and they have a good side, but they need to take extra care tomorrow [today],” he said.
Ndawa also said having had two stints with Bullets before, he knows their style of play.
The Civil Servants bank their hopes on Raphael Phiri as well as other potential match winners in Fletcher Bandawe and Christopher Kumwembe.
Last season, the two teams played out a goalless draw in the first round before Bullets emerged 3-0 winners in the second round.
And at Mulanje Park yesterday, Azam Tigers failed to overtake Bullets when they were held to a one-all draw by Red Lions.
Luke Chima scored for the Kau-Kau Boys while Moses Nankumba was on target for the Zomba-based Malawi Defence Force (MDF)-sponsored side.
Tigers are second with 12 points from six games while Lions are fourth with nine points also from six games.n