Blantyre derby, involving domestic football giants—Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets—returns to Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre this Saturday, with Wanderers hoping to bag all three points to ensure their title defence campaign.
Wanderers, also known as the nomads, trail their rivals Bullets by seven points and have not beaten the league leaders in six years.They shared the spoils in the first round after settling for a barren draw at Bingu National Stadium. The defending champions have lost three times, drawn five times while Bullets, aka The People’s Team, have drawn six times and are yet to taste defeat.
The last time two sides met at Kamuzu Stadium was in the 2016 TNM Super League second round encounter and Bullets won 1-0.Last season, they met at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe where Bullets won 1-0 in the first round, thanks to defender Emmanuel Zoya’s goal before playing out to a one-all draw in the second round at the same venue..
Joseph Kamwendo scored from a free-kick before Chiukepo Msowoya equalized for the People’s Team. They were meeting in Lilongwe due the closure of Kamuzu Stadium for renovations.Bullets have won seven matches against Wanderers with four matches ending in draws in the last five years.
However, both teams seem to be in rampant form having done well in their TNM Super League second matches, but Wanderers failed to reduce the gap with the league leaders when they only managed to bag four points from possible six last weekend.
Nomads claimed a 0-1 away win over Civil Sporting on Saturday and settled for a one-all draw away to Masters Security the following day while the People’s Team cemented their perfect run with a 3-1 home win over Karonga United.
The battle will not only be for points, but also glory—the City’s bragging rights and the challenge is not any simpler as conceded by Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira who anticipates a tough encounter, come Saturday. “It will be a difficult game, but our target is to claim a win and reduce the gap with them. We will fight our own battles and if we are to keep our title defending hopes, then we must beat them. So, it is a must win game for us,” said Mpinganjira.
Bullets coach Rodgers Yasin described the match as tricky, but said they look forward to stretching the lead.“Apart from the points, pride is at stake. So, we know they will come hard on us, but the boys equally realizes the importance of this match….if we beat them they will trail us by 10 points and that will put us in comfort zone,” said Yasin.
Meanwhile, the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has announced gate charges for the derby. Those wishing to watch the match from the VIP Stand will pay K10,000 while Covered Stand and MBC Stand have been pegged at K7,500 and K5,000, respectively.
Sulom Treasurer General Tiya Somba-Banda claimed the gate charge hike is part of the measures in put place to restrict patronage due to reduction of the capacity of the facility.