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Inside Bullets this week

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New year, new month, new week and it is business as usual at FCB Nyasa Big Bullets as two of our teams will be in action in their respective competitions this week.

The first team, coming from winning the Castel Challenge Cup on Saturday, resumed training on Monday in readiness for the final match of the season, while our reserves, who finished third in the Nyasa Capital Finance Cup on Sunday, have two crucial matches coming up.

Let’s look at what’s coming ahead this week at The People’s Team.

First Team

Fresh from the Castel Challenge Cup triumph over Silver Strikers at Bingu National Stadium at the weekend, Kalisto Pasuwa’s men will face Mafco FC in the Airtel Top 8 final at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.

It will be a second meeting in a cup final between the two sides this season, having faced off in the FDH Bank Cup Bullets clinched following a 3-0 hammering of the Salima-based military side in Lilongwe.

The People’s Team will need to be at their level best to overcome a side determined to bounce back from the humiliation they suffered at the hands of the champions at the Bingu National Stadium in October.

Saturday’s Airtel Top 8 cup final will mark the end of the 2023 football calendar that was extended to this new year.

Reserves

After beating Mangochi United 3-0 on Sunday to claim bronze in the Nyasa Capital Finance Cup, Enos Chatama’s boys will return to action on Thursday away to Zingwangwa United in the first leg of the ThumbsUp Southern Region Football League group stage at Mpira Stadium.

This will be the third meeting between the two teams, having met twice in the Nyasa Capital Finance Cup in which Bullets lost the first game before making amends with a win in the final match to knock their opponents out of the just-concluded Premier Division competition.

They will meet again in the second-leg tie at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday to decide which side will proceed to the semi-finals.

Expectations 

Having claimed their first-ever treble since 2002, Bullets will go for nothing but victory against MAFCO as they look to rewrite their history by winning a quadruple in a single season.

The last time Pasuwa’s men played a cup final at Kamuzu Stadium was in 2022 when we thumped our reserves to win our first FDH Bank Cup.

Victory against MAFCO on Saturday will see The People’s Team become the second club to win the Airtel Top 8 Cup twice after Silver Strikers won it in 2017 and 2019.

As for Chatama’s side, facing Zingwangwa United, a side that has several of his former players, should be a tall order as this has become one of the tightly contested fixtures in the Southern Region Football Association Premier Division League.

In a season in which Chatama has been rebuilding his team after loaning out several key players to TNM Super League sides, Bullets Reserves’ performance has not been convincing in the 2023/24 campaign after claiming a quadruple in the 2022/23 season.

They have only won the Aubrey Dimba Trophy this season, missing out on the Champions Cup and the Nyasa Cup Finance Cup. Still in the ThumbsUp Southern Region League, the young Bullets can only hope for a double this campaign.

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