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Opponents Watch: Bullets vs Red Lions

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Bullets return to Kamuzu Stadium for our third home match of the season in the TNM Super League.

Welcoming Red Lions on Sunday, The People’s Team will be looking to bounce back from the last outing, coming from behind to draw 1-1 away to Civil Service United in Lilongwe four days ago.

Ahead of our next challenge, we take a look at how the opponents have performed so far this term.

Their start

Mike Kumanga and his Lions of Zomba are struggling for results and are currently sitting in 15th position with four points from six games.

They started their league campaign with a 1-all draw away to Blue Eagles at Nankhaka Stadium on 16 April, before suffering a 3-0 defeat to Mighty Mukuru Wanderers at Balaka Stadium in their second fixture.

In Matchweek 3, Red Lions travelled to Lilongwe to play Silver Strikers at Bingu National Stadium where they were beaten 4-1, becoming the first team to concede eight goals in three matches.

There was a sigh of relief in the fourth week when they fought hard to register their first win of the season after overcoming a resilient Dedza Dynamos, beating them 2-1 at Balaka Stadium.

But instead of continuing from where they stopped, Red Lions lost 1-0 to Kamuzu Barracks at Civo Stadium in their next tie.

Last week, they were at home when they hosted fellow brothers in arms, Moyale Barracks, at Balaka Stadium. The Zomba-based military side lost 1-0 to sum up their poor start to the season.

In six matches played, they have only won once, one draw and four losses, conceding eleven goals and scoring only four.

Players to watch 

Of the four goals scored, Red Lions have got only two scorers to their name, Humphreys Minandi and Dave Meja.

Minandi scored the team’s opening goal when they forced out a 1-all draw away to Blue Eagles in the first week, while Meja was on target when they lost 4-1 to Silver Strikers.

The two strikers combined again in week four when they scored a goal each against Dedza Dynamos to inspire the team to their first win in the current campaign.

Red Lions were relegated from the top-flight league in 2018 before making a return the following season. It was Bullets who condemned them to relegation with a 3-0 win at Balaka Stadium.

Attacking threats

Sunday’s opponents are one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league. With four goals to their name, it means they haven’t been doing enough in attack. They mostly use aerial balls, and when restricted, they struggle because they don’t have ball players who would advance into the opposition’s half and create spaces for the strikers to score. Thus, if tightly marked, the chances of them finding the back of the net from transition into spaces are very minimal.

Away form against Bullets

The soldiers haven’t won against The People’s Team at Kamuzu Stadium for the past decade. They came close in 2017 when they gave away a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3.

In the 2020/21 season, they also gave away a 3-1 half-time lead to draw 3-3. But since then, it has been Bullets all over the visitors.

Last season, Bullets were 2-0 winners at Balaka Stadium before claiming a double with a 3-1 victory at Kamuzu Stadium in the final half of the campaign The People’s Team defended the league for a fourth successive year.

The two sides met in a pre-season friendly match on 2 April when Bullets hammered the visitors 5-0 at Kamuzu Stadium.

Red Lions’ away form this season

Kamanga’s charges have lost all their three matches away from home, conceding six goals in the process and finding the back of the net twice.

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