The odds are stuck against Be Forward Wa n d e r e r s who should expect a hostile atmosphere in this afternoon’s CAF Champions League preliminary round first-leg tie against AS Vita at Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Led by DR Congo’s 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) winning coach Jean- Florent Ikwange Ibengé, AS Vita boast of players from Swaziland, Rwanda, Botswana, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Burkina Faso.
Ibengé, who doubles as DR Congo national team coach, is expected to unleash his arsenal on the Nomads who return to Confederation of African Football (CAF) club competitions after 18 years—they last participated in African Cup Winners Cup against Coffee FC of Ethiopia.
The Nomads will bank on the charismatic leadership of TNM Super League 2017 Player of the Season Joseph Kamwendo, who has some experience of DR Congo football having had a stint with AS Vita’s bitter rivals TP Mazembe between 2013 and 2015.
“Inu AS Vita inali kale ili ndi azibambo, pano ana eni-eni. Iwo 11 ife 11; tithana nawo tabwera. Anangomva kuti sitimenya CAF kusiya training, auponda tithana nawo.
“The team is ready for the game, at least we have done everything in the pre-season and we are looking okay. The worst should be a draw because if we can secure victory here, or a draw, we will just finish them in Lilongwe,” said Kamwendo.
Coach Yasin Osman has picked the cream of his squad.
He is expected to start experienced goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa with Harry Nyirenda, Lucky Malata, Stanley Sanudi and Ted Sumani in defence.
Kamwendo will pull the strings in midfield alongside Alfred Manyozo Jnr, Blessings Tembo and Felix Zulu while Esau Kanyenda and Peter Wadabwa will lead the onslaught.
But AS Vita coach Ibengé seems to have already done his home work on the Nomads and said on his blog https://www.coachibenge.com, that he expects Wanderers to play a fast game.
“Indeed, the Malawi team [Be Forward Wanderers] has fast attackers based on the 4-4-2 system. So, we will have to use the fullbacks to defuse this pressure to avoid any unpleasant surprises because they start the game with a considerable speed,” he said.
But the coach had no respect for Wanderers defence.
“As far as defence is concerned, it is not solid. It is necessary that Jean-Marc Makusu [centre-forward] surprise their defence, but we will have to start with Yves Diba to kill the game within the first 45 minutes,” Ibengé wrote on the website. n