Either tactics or the smaller Balaka pitch could prove decisive in todayâ€™s K20 million (about $80 000) Standard Bank Knockout Trophyâ€™s preliminary round match between Red Lions and Big Bullets.
In their TNM Super League first-round meeting a fortnight ago, Bullets and Red Lions drew 0-0.
In case both teams have a formula of how to overcome the challenge of the pitch, then tactics could prove to be the difference today.
Lions coach Collins Nkuna admitted during the week that Bullets pose a big threat to the soldiers who hope to transfer their perfect Super League club form to the cup.
The Zomba soldiers are the only unbeaten side in nine games this season in the league, but they have fallen short of transferring such form to cups.
“Bullets can be tricky. Their players can sometimes be individualistic and they have an edge owing to their experience,” said Nkuna.
Daniel Katunga and Boniface Kaulesi are the twin threat which the Lions pose to Bullets.
With Sankhani Mkandawire and George Nyirenda bolstering the defence, Bullets can never be underrated. After all, they fired the warning shots in defying odds to advance to the Presidential Cup final.
A strong midfield which James Chilapondwa commands has been Bulletsâ€™ strength this season and the presence of veteran Heston Munthali and experienced Diverson Mlozi on the frontline means the supply lines are effective.
Azam Tigers and BT United will meet in another Standard Bank match today [Saturday].