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Match preview: Bullets v Silver Strikers

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The stage is set as Bullets return to Kamuzu Stadium for another exciting TNM Super League fixture against leaders Silver Strikers on Sunday afternoon.

It’s an important fixture for the fourth-placed defending champions to win to reduce the eight-point gap against the Central Bankers.

But, it’s a huge task for Kalisto Pasuwa’s men who will be facing a side enjoying very good form, having won seven of their eight league games.

The Area 47 side is scoring for fun and ahead of this match, they have already found the back of the net 21 times.

FORM GUIDE

The defending champions are at their lowest moment with inconsistency as they have registered five draws and three wins in eight games.

Our latest goalless draw away to Moyale Barracks last Monday saw us failing to close Silver’s gap to six points and at the same time failed to dislodge Mzuzu City Hammers in the second position.

This new campaign, the 2023 quadruple winners have failed to beat Dedza Dynamos, Mighty Tigers, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers, Mafco FC and Moyale while collecting all the points over Chitipa United, Baka City and Hammers.

We have scored 10 goals, conceded four and kept four clean sheets.

Our opponents, coached by our former first assistant coach, Peter Mponda, are flying high. They have only dropped two points from the possible 24, sitting comfortably at the top with 22 points. In the last three matches, they have scored 10 goals to take their good scoring form to 21 goals.

Recently, they beat Karonga United 4-2 to maintain their grip at the top of the standings.

This is the second time in three seasons for Silver Strikers to open up such a massive lead at the summit over Bullets.

At some point in the 2021 season, they had a massive nine-point lead at the top of the table after they defeated us 1-0 at Silver Stadium, the only victory over the 17-time league champions in the last eight years.

But despite the gap that term, Bullets went on to win the championship, finishing with 62 points, four ahead of the Central Bankers.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

In the last 20 meetings between the two opponents, Bullets have eight wins against Silver’s three since 2013. The last league victory for Bullets came in the 2022 season at Kamuzu Stadium where the hosts scored in the first 23 minutes to hammer the Bankers 3-1.

But the last three league meetings all ended in draws. In the second round of the 2022 season, the match ended 2-2 at Bingu National Stadium and in the 2023 season, both the first and second round ties ended 1-1.

Bullets’ victories over Silver all came in cup games. We won 4-2 on penalties to win the Castel Challenge Cup. And, at the start of the 2024 season, we retained the NBS Bank Charity Shield, beating the Bankers 7-6 through spot kicks again.

Silver’s last victory over us came in May 2021 when Maxwell Phodo, now with Bullets, scored late to give them a 1-0 victory at Area 47.

On Sunday, we meet again, but this time, the defending champions are in a position in which getting all three points is a must because any negative result will give the Bankers an edge in the title race.

TEAM NEWS

No fresh injuries to our squad but there are also no recoveries. Pasuwa will only have the players that faced Moyale last week.

On the other hand, the visitors will be without Adiel Kaduya, Duncan Nyoni, Gift Chunga and Atusaye Nyondo, but Binwell Katinji has passed a late fitness test and has travelled to Blantyre to face The People’s Team.

HOW TO WATCH THE MATCH

The game will be live on Mpira TV, MBC TV and on FIFA +. You can also follow live updates on our Facebook and X (Twitter) Channels.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Gift Chicco

Assistant 1: Happiness Mbandambanda

Assistant 2: Sibusiso Sibande

Fourth Official: Mwayi Msungama

Match Assessor: Kelvin Ngolanga

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