The Blantyre derby, one of the most anticipated matches in Malawian football, takes place this afternoon as Nyasa Big Bullets host Be Forward Wanderers in a TNM Super League clash at Kamuzu Stadium.
The outcome of the derby could determine Wanderers’ chances of posing a real threat for the title as the gap between them and leaders Bullets will be reduced to 4 points from the same number of games played if the Nomads emerges victorious.
Key players on each team could determine whether the match will have a winner when the referee blows the final whistle.
Malawi24 takes a look at in-form key players heading to Kamuzu Stadium.
Nyasa Big Bullets:
Chiukepo Msowoya: Bullets’ most clinical player this season with the most league goals (10) and has let off the most strikes at goal, while boasting the best accuracy from those as well. He is heading into this encounter in a very good form after scoring six goals in three matches for the people’s team.
Patrick Phiri: The talk of Mayfair at the moment, much will be riding on Phiri’s shoulders heading into this showdown, especially after his brace in the 8-0 win over Mitundu United in the Carlsberg Cup last week. He also scored in Bullets’ 3-0 win over Karonga United in the league, taking his goal scoring tally to 8, at a rate of 0.34 goals per game. He is lethal, fast and very clinical in front of goals.
Henry Kabichi: The cog that has turned Bullets’ midfield this term, Kabichi’s service will be desperately needed as he is the engineer of the league leaders’ passing statistics. However, with only two league goals so far, he will be hoping to improve those numbers at the most opportune time.
Rabson Chiyenda: Good goalkeeping is the key toward winning any competition and Rabson Chiyenda is the type of a goalkeeper any team would wish to have if the mission is to win the championship.
So far, he has conceded less than three goals this season and he has been very instrumental for Bullets, producing crucial saves and keeping clean sheets in the process. Scoring past him is a tall order and he will be the key for the home side in the showdown.
Be Forward Wanderers:
Yamikani Chester: Wanderers’ most dangerous man in the field of play. He singlehandedly destroyed Azam Tigers and Civil Sporting Club to inspire his side to two important victories which saw Wanderers piling more pressure on Bullets.
His sparkling attack with his clever positioning and his ability to dribble, challenge defenders and his speed, Chester will be very vital to Wanderers if they are to collect maximum points over their rivals for the first time in more than six years. Winning back to back man of the match awards is an indication that the former Tigers man mean business in the ongoing season.
Lucky Malata: Very solid at the back and he is the Mr. Reliable that the Nomads need when playing Bullets. He is good in the air and has the ability to lead the defence hence making Wanderers one of the teams with a good defensive record. With Bullets playing two dangerous strikers, Malata will be very vital in defence to protect his goal territory.
Alfred Manyozo Jnr: The Wanderers captain shows no signs of slowing down with his defensive ability in the middle of the park. His partnership with Joseph Kamwendo was very instrumental in Wanderers’ 2017 successful league campaign where they ended their TNM Super League drought for the first time in 11 years. Manyozo was born a leader and he will surely lead the way for the defending league champions.
Nenani Juwaya: Six clean sheets in seven games is not a mean achievement at all. The former Tigers shot-stopper has proved to all Wanderers supporters that with or without Richard Chipuwa in goals, the team is very much safe. Despite having no game time last season, Juwaya has performed beyond Wanderers’ expectation and he is the reason why the team is still keeping their championship dream alive.
He produced some stunning saves against Tigers and Civil no wonder he is now the favourite to man the goal posts this afternoon at the expense of Chipuwa.