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Match preview: Dedza v Bullets

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets start the TNM Super League title defence away to Dedza Dynamos at Dedza Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

This is the second time in a row for the defending champions to open a league campaign away from home. Last season, The People’s Team played a 1-1 draw against Silver Strikers at Bingu National Stadium in the opening fixture.

Travelling to Dedza, Kalisto Pasuwa’s men will be looking to record their first-ever win in a competitive match at Dedza Stadium, where in the last two visits, we suffered 1-0 defeats to Mafco FC and Dynamos.

But, the 2023 quadruple winners should be optimistic for a positive start to the new campaign away in the central district, after defeating Silver Strikers last weekend to win the NBS Bank Charity Shield for a record seventh successive year.

Previous meetings with Dedza Dynamos

This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides since Dedza’s promotion to the top-flight league in 2021.

Our first meeting took place at Balaka Stadium in 2022 and Babatunde Adepoju’s lone strike was the difference as Pasuwa’s charges collected all the points in a closely contested affair.

In the second round of that term, a strike in each half from Adepoju and Hassan Kajoke inspired Bullets to a hard-fought 2-1 victory on the very last day of the campaign.

Last season, the two teams played to a 2-all draw at Kamuzu Stadium where Bullets scored through McFallen Mgwira and Kajoke, while Clement Nyondo and Limbani Phiri were on target for the visitors. In the reverse fixture, we suffered a 1-0 loss at Dedza Stadium through Nyondo’s first-minute goal.

How the hosts have performed in pre-season

Andrew Bunya’s side was involved in seven matches in readiness for the new season.

Dynamos were held to a 3-all draw by Bembeke Select before beating Thete United 2-1.

They travelled to Aubrey Dimba in Mchinji where they got hammered 3-0 by Kamuzu Barracks, before registering a 2-2 draw against Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at Champions Stadium in Mponela.

Bunya’s men lost 1-0 to Bangwe All Stars in the Sapitwa 4 Bonanza in Mulanje before drawing 1-1 with FOMO FC in the same competition, before another 2-2 stalemate against Chingale De Tete in their final friendly match.

Dedza Dynamos’ transfers

The Central Region side lost Nyondo, the 2023 Golden Boot winner with 16 goals, to Wanderers. They also lost midfielder Charles Chipala, who joined Silver Strikers as a free agent following the expiry of his contract. Christopher Phiri and Clement Chipanda also left the club.

Dedza roped in Frank Chikufenji, Rodwell Robert, Samson Olatubosun, Charles Nyasulu, Hadji Kung’unde and Bullets Reserves’ former midfielder Chimwemwe Yasin.

Dynamos’ position last season

In the 2023 league campaign, Dedza finished seventh with 38 points from 30 games, scoring 30 goals and conceding 38. They only lost one game at home in the entire season, losing 1-0 to Wanderers in the second round.

Bullets’ form ahead of the match

Maule played three games ahead of the new season. They hammered non-league Kalembelembe Stars 6-0 and Chatoloma Admarc 4-1 at the Champions Stadium during our weeklong pre-season camp in Mponela.

Seven days ago, Pasuwa’s men won 7-6 on penalties after a goalless draw in normal time against Silver Strikers in the NBS Bank Charity Shield.

Bullets’ transfer activities 

The Malawi champions have brought seven new faces ahead of the new season.

Pasuwa added goalkeeper Innocent Nyasulu, defender Colin Mujuru, midfielders Ronald Chitiyo, Mathews Masamba and Lloyd Aaron and the attacking duo of Babatunde and Sean McBrams to his squad.

He also promoted Chikumbutso Salima, Crispin Mapemba and Yamikani Mologeni from our reserves team. The trio was on loan at Bangwe All Stars last season, helping them finish sixth in the TNM Super League standings.

Team News

Pasuwa travels to Dedza without injured Clever Mkungula, Alick Lungu, Mike Mkwate and Frank Willard.

Richard Chimbamba, Gomezgani Chirwa, Clyde Senaji, Lloyd Aaron, Patrick Mwaungulu and Lanjesi Nkhoma, who were out of the squad that defeated the Central Bankers in the Charity Shield on Saturday, are all available for selection this afternoon.

Zimbabwean new signing, Ronald Chitiyo, is also part of the squad on the road to Dedza after he was cleared and registered to play for Pasuwa’s side, alongside compatriot Colin Mujuru, who also joined The People’s Team last week and impressed during our Charity Shield tie against Silver Strikers last Saturday.

How to follow the game

Our 2024 TNM Super League opener will kick off at 14h30 and action will be live on Mpira TV and FIFA+. Alternatively, you can catch all the match updates on our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Match officials

Referee: Mayamiko Kanjere

Assistant Referee 1: Yohane Chiutika

Assistant Referee 2: Innocent Jaha

Fourth Official: Charles Chimimba

Match Assessor: Martha Nyekanyeka

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