Bullets, Nomads face hurdles in title race

TNM Super League title contenders Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers face unpredictable assignments today as they engage in last-ditch push to sustain momentum in a title race with a few matches remaining.

Bullets, who lead the 16-member league with 58 points, face Silver Strikers at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe while second-placed Wanderers, trailing by a point, host Karonga United at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

Bullets (in red) and Silver in a previous encounter

Both sides have four games to wrap up the season that has become a two-horse race after Silver, Blue Eagles and Kamuzu Barracks, like most times, fell by the way side.

In Silver, Bullets will meet a side with a point to prove after being disappointed in the season. Lying third, with 50 points, eight off the title balance, the Bankers have performed miserably. Their only source of comfort this season is the Airtel Top 8 trophy.

The People’s Team coach Calisto Pasuwa, however, has said his charges will not underrate the Bankers.

He said their opponents have the potential to shatter their title hopes.

The coach might surely be mindful of the Bankers’ victory over his charges in the Fisd Challenge Cup quarter-finals last month.

“We are treating every game with seriousness because when we drop points our chances of winning the title diminish,” he said.

Bullets have been dealt a big blow as their towering defender Sankhani Mkandawire will miss the game because of an injury he sustained against Kamuzu Barracks on Wednesday.

Confirming the development, Pasuwa said: “It is very unfortunate that it is our defence which is being affected, because all the injuries that we have are defenders,” he said.

Other injured defenders are John Lanjesi and Precious Sambani, while Pilirani Zonda has just returned from injury.

Although Silver pose a serious challenge to BB’s title bid, the People’s Team could withstand crushed Blue Eagles 4-0 and Kamuzu Barracks 2-0, the opposition which many an analyst projected would derail their campaign.

On his part, Silver coach Abbas Makawa has said his side will fight to secure position three.

“We are not going into the match to donate points. We have a mission to accomplish and that is to finish strongly in the league,” he said.

At Kamuzu Stadium, Wanderers know that any lapses in concentration will have drastic consequences because Karonga cannot be easily bullied into submission.

The Crocodiles, with minimal resources, have managed to pull away from relegation with several games to spare. They sit on position 10.

Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira, in an interview, acknowledged that they cannot treat the match as a walkover.

“Karonga is a good side. We must be resilient enough to overcome them. But I am optimistic that we will sail through,” he said.

Karonga coach Dan Dzinkambani said they are motivated to win the match because they still stand a chance to finish in the top eight and secure a place in the Airtel Top 8, if funded next season.

“Surviving relegation is not enough. We want to do more than that. So yes, we will give everything during this match,” he warned. The Northern Region outfit currently has 34 points from 26 games.

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