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Match preview: Bullets vs Dragon

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets return to Bingu National Stadium for our second-leg match against Dragon FC in the first preliminary round of the CAF Champions League at Bingu National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Bullets, who have a commanding 2-0 lead over the Equatorial Guinea champions, will be looking to complete the job and progress to the second round of Africa’s biggest club competition for the first time since 2015.

However, as stressed by head coach Kalisto Pasuwa, the job is far from over as The People’s Team once had a 1-0 lead going into the return match against Amazulu FC of South Africa in the 2020/21 season only to suffer a 3-1 home defeat to exit the competition with a 3-2 loss.

The hosts will try their level best to avoid a setback in front of thousands of fans who will grace the magnificent stadium in the capital Lilongwe with hope.

Current form

Pasuwa’s charges will go into this match with confidence having beaten their opponents with a 2-0 margin away in Malabo last Sunday through Maxwell Phodo’s first-half brace.

But they have never won any Champions League match at Bingu National Stadium, having lost to both Amazulu FC and Simba SC of Tanzania.

Since 2015, Bullets has never won any Champions League match at home, with the previous three matches against Fomboni FC, Gor Mahia and Platinum FC all played at Kamuzu Stadium.

But on Sunday, Maule will be optimistic about breaking the jinx by giving their fans a deserving win worthy of every penny they will spend to watch the match.

Their opponents, who have been inactive before the first leg due to their football calendar, will have a lot of work to do to overturn the deficit and possibly progress to the second round for the first time in history.

It will be a huge task for the Central African side to play in front of thousands of football fans after hosting Bullets in almost an empty Estadio de Malabo seven days ago.

However, anything is possible in football, depending on how they will approach the match, as said by their coach Antonio Pancho Milam that they are in Malawi for a result.

As Pasuwa’s words upon arrival at Chileka International Airport on Tuesday, the tie is far from over because the two teams are now familiar with each other.

This will be a match to watch, Bullets being favourites, a lot is at stake, but in whatever they do, they should avoid being complacent.

Team news

Having five players out of action due to injuries, Pasuwa has suffered yet another setback following an injury to Eric Kaonga in the final training session on Saturday morning.

This means Bullets will be without three left-backs for the majority of the current season, as both Alick Lungu and Precious Sambani sustained injuries and are not part of the squad to face Dragon FC.

What Pasuwa said ahead of the match

“Complacency is very dangerous. You can even see how this has crippled everyone in the house. Football is all about 90 minutes. We went to Equatorial Guinea and scored in the seventh minute. They can come here and do the same thing again, so we need to do everything with a positive mind.

“It’s not a bad side, and they have stature where they can punish us through set pieces and then game on. So, I am warning my players to put everything in place and attack with intent because if we have nine men behind the ball, these guys are dangerous. They can capitalize on and punish us.

“The first leg result is over. We should now focus on winning at home so that we make it easy for us to progress to the next round.”

How to follow the game

The game, which will kick off at 15h00, will be live on Mpira TV and MBC TV. You can also catch the match updates on our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Match officials

Namibian referees will be in charge of our home at the Bingu National Stadium this afternoon.

Referee: Wilhem Letukwafa Haitmbu (Namibia)

Assistant Referee 1: Mathew Kanyanga (Namibia)

Assistant Referee 2: Alex Muzibwane Muzibwane Lumponjani (Namibia)

Fourth Official: Samuel Mayele Mayele Nghipandulwa (Mauritania)

Match Commissioner: Jack Malose Maluleke (South Africa)

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