In what is deemed to be a family affair, Nyasa Big Bullets first team will play host to the reserve side in the 2021 inaugural FDH Bank Cup Round of 32 fixture at Kamuzu Stadium this afternoon.
The competition kicks off under unique circumstances, as it features clubs from the top-flight, along with sixteen teams from the second tier of Malawian football.
Bullets were one of the few clubs from the top-flight to be drawn against one of those from the lower division, as their name came up against their own reserve team during the last 32 draw last week.
It’s a match which cannot be predicted based on familiarity, but rather the outcome will depend on who will be in top form from the first whistle.
Head coach Kalisto Pasuwa, who admits that his side hasn’t been doing well in cup competitions since 2017, is however looking forward to progressing to the next stage at the expense of the junior side.
Pasuwa says as much as it looks to be a tricky fixture for his side, the senior team will go flat out to prove its superiority over a side which he has described as good on the ball and plays similar football to his style of play.
With this encounter being a historic clash between the two teams in over two decades, Pasuwa opens up on the unique difficulties in trying to gauge the threat posed by Saturday’s opponents, saying it is always tricky playing such a side in a knockout tie.
The last time Bullets won a cup competition was in 2017 when they defeated rivals Be Forward Wanderers in the Carlsberg Cup final.
On his part, Bullets Reserves coach Enos Chatama, though admitting that he never fancied playing the first team at this stage of the competition, said he accepted the draw as it is, but vowed to make Pasuwa’s men run for their money.
Chatama says he is very much aware that he is playing the most decorated team in the land, but his players will not give up until the final whistle.
To reach this far Bullets Reserves defeated Mangochi United 3-0 at Mangochi Stadium earlier this month.
In 2018 season, Chatama’s side lost to Moyale Barracks in the Round of 16 match in the Carlsberg Cup through penalties in a match where he completely dominated.
A year later, his side were beaten by Blue Eagles in the FISD Challenge Cup through another penalty shootout after dominating in the entire 90 minutes.
This alone was a motivation to the youthful side, with Chatama promising an entertainment football from his best squad against their seniors.
The match between the two teams takes place from 14:30 hours.
The last time the two teams played each other was in 2018 in a friendly match in which Bullets first team won 3-1.
The first team is currently enjoying unbeaten run at home and tops the TNM Super League standings with 45 points. Pasuwa’s side is unbeaten in the last four matches.
The reserve side is also doing well in their group as they have not lost any match in the Premier Division so far.
Chatama’s side is level on points with Wizards FC and is also unbeaten at Kamuzu Stadium.
They have been scoring goals for fun whenever playing at the artificial turf, scoring 14 goals past Polytechnic FC and Neno Giants in two games.