For the past seasons, surviving in the Tnm Super League has proven to be a difficult task especially for newly promoted teams into the Malawi elite league.
Last season two of the promoted sides avoided relegation and secured their places in the TNM super league. With this in mind, the three newly promoted teams this season; Karonga United, Blantyre United and Masters Security will start their TNM Super League campaign hoping to do the same.
The big question is which of these three sides stands the best chance of surviving the heat in the Malawi Elite League?
Despite that a lot of newly promoted teams struggle to survive the heat in the elite league, this season there is some hope.
In the previous two seasons, three of the six promoted teams avoided relegation, namely Premier Bet Wizards, Dwangwa United and Mzuni fc.
It is with no doubt that it will take time for the three newly promoted teams to adjust to life in the Malawi top flight League when the season kicks off on 8th April, 2017, but each of these sides will feel confident of avoiding the drop as the season is heading towards the end.
Chitipa United topped the Northern Region Simama League table last season – finishing 2 points clear of their nearest rivals Kaporo Stars. It was an excellent year for Chitipa, who challenged for the Simama League Championship better than any other team from the word go and fully deserved to lift the trophy at the end of the season.
Some of Chitipa’s key players from last season will be hugely important once again.
Abel Mwakilama played almost every game in the Lions’ Championship triumph.
He was called up to the Flames Junior squad for the 2016 COSAFA under-20 tournament in South Africa and he will also be very crucial for Chitipa’s hopes of survival if he takes his form from the Simama League which helped him to finish as the league’s top goal scorer with 36 goals from 38 matches. Mwakilama has the potential to take the TNM Super League by storm.
On a sad note Chitipa is one of the teams in the elite league which currently have the smallest budgets. Availability of money to spend on new players and players’ welfare is one of the instruments in determining which teams survive at the end of the season.
Despite Chitipa United having a weak financial muscle, they will rely heavily on their players’ hard-working attitudes and if they can add more quality to their squad – survival will be possible for them.
Blantyre United are back in the Tnm Super League after securing promotion into the elite League.
Lawson Nakoma’s team finished top of the Southern Region League ahead of Mitral Icons who finished as their runners up.
Blantyre United have an experienced squad, and that can help them to quickly adjust to life in the Malawi top fight league.
Fisi Matama last season’s scoring form was good and if he can reproduce that kind of form in the Super League, surely Blantyre United will have a good chance of staying up.
Currently Blantyre United are on the verge of signing their former midfielder Jimmy Chikule and Striker Sparrow Msowoya in this transfer window as one of the ways to improve their squad in some areas.
Despite Blantyre United having players with previous TNM Super League experience, they will need to add more quality to the current squad if they are to survive.
Defensive stability is important when it comes to avoiding relegation, but creating chances and scoring goals usually proves even more crucial for teams battling at the bottom of the table.
But for Blantyre United to survive in the elite league they need their best players to perform at their highest level throughout the campaign.
Defending is a problem for them as witnessed in their recent friendly whereby they conceded 3 goals in a 5-3 win over Esperanza of Mulanje.
Blantyre United’s chances of survival will decrease dramatically if they fail to work on their defense as soon as possible.
Lastly Masters Securty deservedly gained promotion by finishing top of the Central Region league last season. Masters have a talented squad at their disposal; a squad that excelled in the Chipiku League and they also have the potential to flourish in the TNM super League.
Masters Security have already made several new signings, and more are expected to follow. Ex-Wanderers number one Simplex Nthala and Robin Ngalande have also joined the side on a free transfer.
They have brought in players of a high calibre, and with this in mind their supporters will expect their side to avoid the drop.
The club has the best chance of staying clear of relegation out of the three promoted teams. They are a well-balanced side financially and they have good and experienced players and if their new recruits can integrate well with the players that gained promotion, Masters could potentially finish well clear of the drop zone.