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Match preview: Mafco v Bullets

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FCB Nyasa Big Bullets face Mafco in the TNM Super League at Chitowe Stadium this afternoon.

It’s the third time Bullets are on the road this campaign and this trip away in Dwangwa allows Kalisto Pasuwa’s men to return to winning ways after dropping two points in our 1-1 draw against Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at Kamuzu Stadium last week.

The People’s Team will appear at Chitowe after we were held to a goalless draw on the last visit in the previous season.

On Saturday, the 2023 quadruple winners have to be at their level best against a side determined to register their first win following a poor start to the new season. The hosts are winless in their first five games.

FORM

Bullets are coming from a hard-fought 1-all stalemate at home in the Blantyre derby. This was the third draw in the five league games the defending champions have played in the current campaign.

We have only beaten Chitipa United and Baka City but drew with Dedza Dynamos, Mighty Tigers and recently Wanderers to drop further down in the standings, four points behind the current log leaders, Silver Strikers.

Mafco, 15th in the standings, are yet to win a match in the new season, losing three games and drawing twice. The Salima-based soldiers have found the back of the net three times and have conceded 11 goals.

They go into this clash hoping to get their first three points over the defending champions, who will also go flat-out to close the gap with the Central Bankers.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Since 2010, the two teams have met 24 times. Bullets have recorded 11 wins while sharing the spoils in 11 meetings, with Mafco winning two games over The People’s Team.

Bullets did a double over the soldiers in the 2010 season when we handed them a 4-3 defeat at Kamuzu Stadium before a 0-1 win away at Chitowe in the reverse fixture.

In 2011, the two teams played a goalless draw in the first round before they also shared a point apiece with a 1-1 draw in Dwangwa.

The following season saw Bullets collecting four out of the possible six, winning 2-0 away at Chitowe before sharing the points with a 2-2 draw in the return fixture at Kamuzu Stadium.

Mafco got the better of Bullets in 2013 when they won 2-0 at Chitowe and played to a goalless draw at Kamuzu Stadium in the reverse tie.

2014 saw the two sides sharing the points with 1-1 draws in the two fixtures.

But we collected six points in 2015 when we registered 1-0 victories over them in the two games that season.

Bullets beat Mafco 2-0 in the first-round match of the 2016 season and forced them to a 2-2 draw at Chitowe.

The People’s Team then won 2-1 in the first round of the 2017 season at Chitowe but failed to beat the soldiers at Kamuzu Stadium as the match ended 0-0.

The following year, Bullets claimed a double again when they hammered the visitors 3-1 at Kamuzu Stadium and 1-0 away to Chitowe in a season the soldiers got relegated from the top-flight league.

We met again in the 2020/21 campaign when Mafco returned to the TNM Super League, and the two matches ended 0-0 and 1-1.

In the 2022 season, Bullets won the first-round fixture with a 1-0 margin at Kamuzu Stadium before losing the reverse fixture with a similar scoreline at Dedza Stadium, a result that saw Bullets’ unbeaten streak in that campaign coming to an end.

Last season, Pasuwa’s men hammered Mafco 4-0 at Kamuzu Stadium before playing to a goalless draw at Chitowe Stadium.

TEAM NEWS

Pasuwa’s team continues to suffer injuries. Three players, who featured against Wanderers last weekend, are not part of the travelling squad.

Defender Clyde Senaji, who was elbowed during the match continues to nurse a swollen face, while midfielder Ernest Petro is also a major doubt as he is struggling with his leg. Forward Ephraim Kondowe has been ruled out of this game as he is in a POP.

But our camp has a huge boost as defender Colin Mujuru resumed training after missing the Blantyre derby due to a pulled muscle and is part of the team to face Mafco.

HOW TO FOLLOW THE MATCH

Stream the action on FIFA+ and alternatively follow the live updates on our official Facebook and Twitter channels.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Kondwani Kamwendo

Assistant 1: Hendrix Maseko

Assistant 2: Christina Mhango

Fourth Official: Lameck Manda

Match Assessor: Innocent Kaundula

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