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Preview: Kamuzu Barracks vs Bullets

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After the midweek fixture at home, Bullets have another challenge away in Lilongwe on Saturday afternoon.

The People’s Team thrashed Ndirande Stars 4-0 on Wednesday to reach the last-16 of the FDH Bank Cup and the next stop is away to Kamuzu Barracks in the TNM Super League at Civo Stadium.

Kalisto Pasuwa’s men haven’t done well in the recent visits at Civo, the latest being a 1-all draw against Civil Service United earlier this month.

Aside from that, their four games outside Blantyre saw them winning only one, drawing twice and suffering one loss, collecting five out of the possible 12 points.

This fourth trip to the Capital City presents yet another opportunity for the defending champions to keep pace with current log leaders Silver Strikers, who will play on Sunday.

However, Maule will be facing a much-improved side, which is slowly moving up in the standings following back-to-back victories against Bangwe All Stars and Karonga United in the league and the FDH Bank Cup, respectively.

Head-to-head

Bullets have an excellent file in opposition to KB and have gained 17 points from the last seven meetings between the two teams.

In the 2022 season, The People’s Team collected four out of the possible six points after winning the first-round match 1-0 in Lilongwe through a late strike from Babatunde Adepoju before playing out to a 1-all draw at Kamuzu Stadium in the reverse fixture.

In the 2020/21 season, Bullets claimed a double over Alick Chirwa’s side by beating them 3-1 and 3-0 margins in two games, with the final game officially crowning The People’s Team as winners of the Super League championship.

It was only in 2019 when KB got the better of the defending champions with a narrow 1-0 win through Ndaona Daisi’s strike in a match we dominated but our striking force failed to capitalize on plenty of chances created on that day.

Saturday’s match will not be easy for Pasuwa’s charges as their opponents are now picking up and are intrinsically motivated to do well and push to the top four and there is no better way than to prove their doubters wrong against the Malawi champions.

Current form

The hosts are coming from a hard-fought 2-1 win over Karonga United in Wednesday’s round-of-32 tie of the FDH Bank Cup.

Bullets are coming from a comfortable 4-0 win over Ndirande Stars in the same knockout competition. By far, KB had a very difficult task than the Bullets playing against a non-league side.

In the league, Bullets are second on the table with 20 points from nine games, a point behind Silver Strikers who have 21 points from the same number of games.

As for KB, they are 8th in the standings with 11 points from the same number of games. They have had a mixed start to the season where they have just registered three wins, two draws and four defeats, failing to continue from where they stopped in the 2022 season when they finished in third position behind Bullets and Eagles.

Team News

Pasuwa will be without six players due to injuries. Defenders Clyde Senaji and Nickson Nyasulu are still recovering from injuries.

Midfielders Stanley Billiat, Yankho Singo and Mike Mkwate are also out with injuries alongside striker Chinedu Okafor who is also nursing an injury.

But the good news is that Lanjesi Nkhoma, Blessings Mpokera and Alick Lungu are back from the national team engagements and are part of the squad in Lilongwe.

What Pasuwa said ahead of Saturday’s match

“If you can look at us, we have been playing two to three games in a week because travelling itself is playing a game. That’s one area we need to cover up for us to have fresh legs. A player needs to recover and now, we are having so many injuries and we are running out of depth in terms of some positions. But again, that’s how football is and we need to manage them for us to come back with results.”

On his approach to the match, the tactician said: “I always talk about thirty games to be played. We don’t look at one match or even say another team is on top. As Bullets, we play our games, and then we see what happens at the end of the season to see which team has won the championship.”

He said Bullets must have a positive approach to get the much-needed result on Saturday.

“We need a positive approach and we can’t do anything because in football, we have three results, win, lose or a draw and if we do not get anything out of it, we always accept, come back and work on our mistakes to win next time.”

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