Fired up by pride and seeking revenge is what the Flames can expect from hosts Harambee Stars of Kenya in tomorrowâ€™s World Cup qualifier.
Forget about back-to-back Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup wins over the Harambee Stars. Ignore that on paper Malawi are favourites having in 34 meetings, won 15 against Kenyaâ€™s six, with 13 draws.
Tomorrow, Kinnah Phiri takes his charges into a different terrain. Adapting quickly is the name of the game and holding the nerves is not optional for the Flames inside intimidating Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.
“The two friendly games against Tanzania (0-0) and Zanzibar (1-1) have prepared our squad. We are ready for the Kenya game,” said Kinnah after the Tanzania outing.
It has been a long time since the Kenyans had some semblance of stability in their squad. The Kenya the Flames recently faced were in seemingly endless rebuilding, always under a new coach. And the results were disastrous against a very physical Kinnah side.
Not tomorrow. The Kenyans have maintained coach Francis Kimanzi. Morale is peaking with the news that captain Dennis Oliech, a leading scorer who plays for AJ Auxerre in France, is back after quitting.
If Kinnah has to tread carefully, then it is on the defensive side as Oliech is a powerful forward who can win matches with a single turn. The Kenyans have in addition to Oliech, Patrick Oboya (MFK RuÅ¾omberok, Slovakia), Patrick Osiak (Petrolul Ploiesti, Romania), Victor Mugubi (Celtic FC, Scotland), goalkeeper Arnold Origi and midfielder Patrick Oboya (both Norway).
The only setback for the Kenyans is the absence of injured midfielder MacDonald Mariga.
Cecafa magazine editor Enrique Oyugi predicted a 2-1 win for Kenya.