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Match preview: Bullets vs Lipulumundu | Castel Challenge Cup

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets will kickstart the Castel Challenge Cup campaign with a round-of-64 tie against Lipulumundu Stars at Kamuzu Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

It is a historical encounter as the Malawi champions will welcome the Malindi-based non-league side that plays at the district level in the Eastern Region.

Form Guide

Kalisto Pasuwa’s men go into the midweek fixture fresh from their home defeat in a cup competition since 2016 when they lost 2-1 to Civil Service United in the Airtel Top 8 Cup quarterfinal second leg on Saturday.

Despite the defeat, The People’s Team proceeded to the semi-finals with a 3-2 aggregate win over the Servants.

Before Saturday’s defeat, Bullets were on a six-match unbeaten run across all competitions, having defeated Bangwe All Stars, Moyale Barracks, Chitipa United and Kamuzu Barracks in the TNM Super League, beating Mafco FC in the FDH Bank Cup final, Civil in the first leg of the Airtel Top 8, and drawing 1-1 against Ekwendeni Hammers.

The defending champions currently sit on top of the TNM Super League table with 53 points, level with rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers ahead of Sunday’s much-anticipated Blantyre derby at Kamuzu Stadium.

Head-to-Head 

There is nothing to write yet about the encounter between Bullets and Wednesday’s opponents as this will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

However, Bullets has had two victories over Premier Division teams; namely Ndirande Stars and Balaka FC, in the recently-concluded FDH Bank Cup.

Team News 

On Wednesday, Pasuwa will be without Collins Okumu, Clever Mkungula and Gomezgani Chirwa. These are fresh injuries and the trio has joined Mike Mkwate, Ernest Petro, Kesten Simbi, Alick Lungu and Clyde Senaji on the injury list.

However, there is good news that some of these players will return to the team for Sunday’s Blantyre derby.

What Pasuwa said ahead of the midweek tie

“It is very crucial to face an unknown team that is motivated to face Bullets and a team that we need to get organized for us to go to the next round. The list of injuries now is becoming bigger and that’s one area where we have been having problems, but it’s a fixture that we need to fulfil because our supporters won’t take any excuses, they will need results. So, it’s up to us as coaches to sit down and see how we can plan to come up with a win for us to progress to the next round. To the players who are around, we psyche them up and see what’s the way forward for us.”

How to follow the game

You can catch all the match updates on our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Match officials

Honest Maulana has been appointed as the centre referee for our opening match of the 2023 Castel Challenge Cup at Kamuzu Stadium.

Referee: Honest Maulana

Assistant Referee 1: Bernadetta Kwimbira

Assistant Referee 2: Richard Shumba

Fourth Official: Kesten Mnenula

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