FCB Nyasa Big Bullets are at Kamuzu Stadium for our fourth TNM Super League home game in the new season against Ekwendeni Hammers on Saturday afternoon.
The fixture comes barely one week after we failed to collect full points following a 1-0 away defeat to Chitipa United at Karonga Stadium, our first loss early in the campaign, pushing us down to second position with 17 points, one behind Silver Strikers who moved top of the table.
Saturday’s match will be Bullets’ final competitive fixture before the international break next week and Kalisto Pasuwa’s men will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing result.
A win will have The People’s Team maintaining the narrow gap of a single point at the end of Matchweek 9 should Silver win their home fixture against Mafco on Sunday to reclaim the top spot.
The hosts head into the fixture straight from the disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Chitipa United last Saturday.
The People’s Team missed the opportunity to extend the lead at the top following Collins Okumu’s second-half own goal to condemn Pasuwa’s men to their first loss of the season.
Sitting second in the log table, Bullets have won five out of eight games, drawing two and recording one loss, accumulating 17 points.
The visitors registered their third victory of the season when they defeated Mighty Tigers 1-0 at Mpira Stadium on Sunday to move up to fifth place with 12 points from eight games.
The last time the Northern Region-based outfit dropped all the points was when they lost 3-1 at home to Silver Strikers in week four, but since then, they have been collecting points.
Ekwendeni Hammers have registered three wins, two defeats, and three draws in the current season.
The People’s Team has the opportunity to register their fifth victory over Elias Chirambo’s men who have never beaten Bullets since earning promotion into the top-flight league at the end of the 2019 Simso Northern Region Football League season.
The first-ever meeting between the two teams saw Bullets grabbing a late winner through Gomezgani Chirwa at Mzuzu Stadium. The match ended 1-0.
The second encounter was at Kamuzu Stadium, in which Bullets walked away with all the points after beating their opponents 2-0 courtesy of a strike in each half from Hassan Kajoke and McFallen Mgwira.
A third meeting was again played at Kamuzu Stadium in which Bullets got the better of their opponents with a convincing 3-1 win through Mgwira, Babatunde Adepoju and Kajoke before claiming a double at Mzuzu Stadium, courtesy of a strike in each half from Precious Sambani and Nickson Nyasulu.
Overall, Bullets remain unbeaten against Ekwendeni Hammers in four matches, scoring seven goals and only conceding one.
Mgwira and Kajoke are the only players to have scored two goals each against the Northern Region side.
Pasuwa will welcome back the defensive duo of Alick Lungu and Chirwa, who missed last week’s trip to Chitipa.
Lungu has recovered from an ankle injury he sustained a fortnight ago against Civil Service United whilst Chirwa was down through a viral infection.
However, Nyasulu and Yankho Singo will not be part of the squad to face Ekwendeni due to injury and illness.
What Pasuwa said ahead of the match
“We played in Karonga and we lost. It’s how you react after any loss that one can be seen to be a champion, so we need to prepare everything for us to collect points on Saturday.
“I have been talking about complacency in our camp where we need everyone to be on top of his game for us to retain the championship. As you can see, it’s going to be very tough this year.
“I am one person who will always advise my boys not to underrate any team in Malawi. Every team that we meet will give us a tough time. There is no game that we can say this one is easy.
“[We have been] talking during training sessions [that] a team will come and collect points if we are complacent in our camp. Remember all of us are eleven in the field of play, so if we are equal, it means a result can go either way.”
Referee: Zebron Lengani
Assistant Referee 1: Mc Hestings Kanjati
Assistant Referee 2: Zagallo Chimbulumata
Fourth Official: Happy Ng’ambi
Match Assessor: Paul Mhango
How to follow the match
The game is scheduled to kick off at 14:30 and live on Mpira TV. You can also keep an eye on the action by following live updates posted on all the Bullets’ social media platforms.