As the Malawi Super League championship nears conclusion, all eyes will be on the relegation battle in the coming weekends.
The 2018 TNM Super League season is slowly coming to an end but for the first time in history eleven teams will be battling it out for survival, from which two teams will be relegated to premier divisions.
Nchalo United’s relegation to Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football League has already been confirmed, but any of the eleven teams, from position five to fifteen, could still finish in the bottom three and join the Lower Shire side in the premier division football.
As things stand, TN Stars and MAFCO FC appear to be in deep trouble, more so because of their remaining fixtures, where the former will host both Silver Strikers and Wanderers before traveling to Dedza and Lilongwe to play Masters Security and Blue Eagles respectively.
MAFCO will have a tough weekend in Mzuzu where they will face Moyale Barracks and Mzuni FC.
TN Stars are currently sitting on 14th position with 30 points, a point behind 13th placed Dwangwa United with a goal difference of a minus ten (-10). United are on minus eight (-8).
The Kasungu based outfit take on Silver Strikers on Saturday at their backyard and they will rely heavily on Kamuzu Barracks and Civil Sporting Club to defeat Red Lions and Dwangwa United so that they move out of the drop zone if they come out victorious.
However, even then, they would still need to collect maximum points in their remaining games to run away from the chop.
If Red Lions and Dwangwa United collect maximum points, they will move away from the current positions and keep their survival chances alive but that will depend on the result between Moyale Barracks and MAFCO FC on Saturday.
There is also Karonga United in the mix, and having accumulated 31 points from 28 games this season, it could still get ugly for Karonga if they fail to beat Blue Eagles and Dwangwa United in their remaining games.
In the case where Dwangwa United, Red Lions and Moyale Barracks win their remaining games, then Karonga United and TN Stars will join Nchalo United in the lower divisions.
As it is, Dwangwa’s maximum points are 43 but have a mountain to climb as they will face Civil Sporting, Wanderers, Karonga United and Masters Security while Red Lions will have to overcome Blue Eagles, KB and Bullets in their pursuit of survival.
If MAFCO FC collect nothing from their Northern Region outing, then they will be the second team to face the chop as they will still be on 15th position with 24 points from 27 games and with maximum points of 33.
So, in a nutshell, the pressure is very much on MAFCO FC to collect maximum points in Mzuzu against Moyale Barracks and Mzuni FC, with TN Stars hoping to pull a miracle in front of their home fans, while also hoping for other results to go their way.
And while Dwangwa United and Karonga United would still be monitoring the KB vs Red Lions game and TN Stars vs Silver Strikers game, they still need to play their hearts out to avoid any surprises at the end of the season.
The top four teams are the only ones safe from relegation but Masters Security, KB, Azam Tigers, Blue Eagles and Mzuni FC are in the relegation fight but have an upper hand against teams from position ten to fifteen.
Regardless of what will happen at the end of the season, this has been the most competitive season in years and whosoever will go down to the lower leagues, will leave with honor.
For the first time, two teams will get the chop with more than 30 points, something which hasn’t happened ever since Super League was introduced.