A fitting showstopper awaits in Saturday’s TNM Super League clash as Nyasa Big Bullets visit Blue Eagles at Nankhaka Stadium to kick-start the 2020/21 second-round campaign.
The two teams met on the first day of the current season in what was set to be an ideal curtain-raiser at Kamuzu Stadium and the points were shared following a 0-0 draw.
The defending champions will be buoyed by a positive 6-0 result in the previous league encounter against TN Stars following indifferent form in the opening stages and towards the close of the first-round.
If previous results in the head-to-head ties are anything to go by, fans should expect another tightly-contested affair, reminiscent of their battles in the past seasons.
Last season the two sides shared three points apiece as Eagles won 2-1 at home in the first-round before being handed a heavy 4-0 defeat in Blantyre, a result which saw Bullets edging closer to the title defence.
Bullets coach Kalisto Pasuwa, who is aware of how his side has been struggling to get results in Lilongwe, said if his men are to retain the title they should learn to win both at home and away.
Pasuwa assured on Thursday that he has been pushing the boys to do well in Lilongwe. He said it was in their minds that Bullets don’t do well playing in the Capital City where Bullets have registered a goalless draw against MAFCO and a 1-0 loss at the hands of Silver Strikers this season.
The rare occasion where Saturday’s opponents dominated was in 2015 when they won 3-0, but Bullets had already won the championship. It has been mixed results between the two sides, with The People’s Team dominating at home and Eagles reigning dominance at their own backyard.
The two teams have had mixed first-round results. Bullets, who registered eight wins, five draws and two losses, have only managed to collect 10 points from the possible 18 in all the matches played away from home.
As for their opponents, winning both at home and away has proved to be a very tough task for the Area 30 Gerald Phiri side, which is 12th in the standings with 16 points from three wins in the opening round.
The People’s Team will do without goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe who is expected to undergo an MRI Scan to determine an extent of a knee problem. Bullets will also be without Lanjesi Nkhoma, Righteous Banda and Aziz Mwakifuna, who are all recovering from long term injuries.
However, the defending champions welcome back goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda, who has recovered from his finger fracture and is part of the squad that travelled to Lilongwe for another busy week for Bullets, who have another game on Sunday against TN Stars in Kasungu.
Bullets are second in the standings with 29 points, six behind the current log leaders Silver Strikers who will be playing MAFCO on Saturday.