Bullets are in Lilongwe for our Matchday 6 of this TNM Super League campaign away to Civil Service United on Sunday afternoon at Civo Stadium.
Maule are hoping to continue with the perfect start to the season and reclaim the top spot following Mighty Mukuru Wanderers’ 2-0 victory over Bangwe All Stars on Saturday.
The People’s Team will go into this afternoon’s encounter on the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over Bangwe a week ago, while the Servants, on the other hand, are coming from a 1-0 away defeat to Karonga United last weekend.
Bullets head into this tie on the background of four successive wins in the league, having hammered Mafco FC 4-0 at Kamuzu Stadium, winning 1-0 away to Extreme FC, beating Moyale Barracks 3-1 and recently registering a 2-0 victory over Bangwe All Stars in our previous league fixture.
We remain unbeaten and our overall performance this season has seen us scoring 11 goals, the only highest-scoring team in the 16-team standings.
In the last two games, Kalisto Pasuwa’s side has scored five goals and conceded one.
Civil however have had mixed results in their opening five matches of the season, with their latest result being a 1-0 defeat away to Karonga United, and are currently 12th in the standings with five points from five games.
The Servants have so far registered a single win, beating Mighty Tigers 1-0, and have lost twice, the same number of games they have drawn. They have scored three goals and conceded five.
The last time Bullets and Civil met, the spoils were shared following a 1-all draw through Anthony Mfune’s opener in the first half before Innocent Tanganyika levelled the scoreline in the final half.
Going into this afternoon’s tie, The People’s Team has a better record against their opposition in the last decade in which Oscar Kaunda’s side has never beaten Bullets in league assignments.
In the last 14 meetings, it’s only in the 2017 and 2022 seasons when Civil got two points over Bullets after they played out to a goalless draw at Civo in the first round, and came from behind to draw 1-1 at Kamuzu Stadium last season.
In 2014, Bullets hammered the Servants 1-3 at Civo before registering a double with a 2-0 home victory in the reverse fixture.
In 2015, The People’s Team continued their dominance with yet another 3-1 first-round win away in the capital before a 2-1 victory at Kamuzu Stadium in the last meeting of that campaign.
In 2016 Bullets recorded 1-0 and 2-0 victories over Sunday’s opposition.
The following campaign had The People’s Team dropping two points away in Lilongwe in the first round following a goalless draw at Civo Stadium before the Servants got hammered 3-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in the reverse fixture.
Bullets kept getting the better of Civil when they registered back-to-back 2-1 victories in the 2018 season to claim yet another double over the Lilongwe-based side.
In 2019 Civil received a heavy beating for the first time in more than a decade when Pasuwa’s charges run riot at Kamuzu Stadium to register a comfortable 6-0 win.
Bullets went ahead to claim a double in the second round with a last-minute goal through, Chiukepo Msowoya, a strike that saw Bullets inching closer to the league title, which was indeed won by Pasuwa’s side.
The 2020/21 campaign saw Bullets registering another back-to-back 2-1 victories over the Servants.
But in the 2022 season, Bullets got four out of the possible six points when they beat their opponents 1-0 at Civo before a 1-all draw at Kamuzu Stadium in the reverse fixture.
In the past ten years, Bullets have hit Civil’s back of the net 33 times, with the opposition scoring eight.
The highest-scoring match between them was the 6-0 hammering of the Servants in the 2019 season when they visited Kamuzu Stadium.
However, today’s showdown will not be determined by previous records, but rather by the ability to convert chances into goals as Civil will come hard in search of their first win at home and a first win over Bullets since 2015 when they defeated us 2-1 in the Standard Bank Cup semifinal at Kamuzu Stadium.
Bullets will still be without striker Hassan Kajoke, who is recovering from the lateral ankle injury he suffered in our 3-1 win over Moyale Barracks a fortnight ago. The forward is expected to resume full training next week.
Pasuwa has also travelled up central without his first-choice centre-half Clyde Senaji and Yamikani Fodya who are nursing injuries, while Eric Kaonga is on the sidelines as he recuperates from illness.