Football is back and fixtures hardly come bigger than Saturday afternoon’s mammoth clash between TNM Super League defending Champions Nyasa Big Bullets and Blue Eagles in the 2020/21 season opening match.
The People’s Team will be hoping to start the campaign on a very high note to defend the title they won last season.
In 2019, Bullets FC started their title defence with an emphatic 4-0 victory over TN Stars in Kasungu but what followed was a mixture of results as they found themselves down below the perking order before rejuvenating themselves to trounce their fiercest rivals for the title.
And on Saturday, they host Eagles, a side which has been described as too quick and too good on the ball by head coach Kalisto Pasuwa.
In the 2019 season, the two teams shared three points apiece, but it was Bullets who recorded the biggest win with a 4-0 victory over the area 30 based side.
However, it will totally be a different game to both teams when they meet this time around.
It is difficult to imagine how the 7-month break due to Covid-19 pandemic has affected players but an entertaining match is always guaranteed whenever the two teams meet.
The defending League Champions will head into the match without several of their key players, notably Peter Banda who is bereaved as well as John Lanjesi, Righteous Banda, Chiukepo Msowoya, Dalitso Sailesi, Chimango Kayira and Sankhani Mkandawire who are nursing injuries.
On the other hand, Eagles is a team which has always been closer to winning the title in the previous four seasons but usually fell short whenever points are needed most.
In 2019 season, they almost rose to the top of standings but they lost three games in a row to found themselves out of the championship race.
The Area 30 based side has no injury concerns ahead of this encounter.
In other fixtures, Mighty Tigers will be hoping to start their campaign with a victory when they host TN Stars at Mpira Village in Chiwembe while Mafco FC will entertain Red Lions at Chitowe Stadium.
At Karonga Stadium, another mouthwatering clash awaits Karonga United and Chitipa United while the newly promoted Ekwendeni Hammers will host Kamuzu Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium.
On Sunday, last season’s runners up Be Forward Wanderers will travel to Mzuzu to play Mzuni Warriors, with Ntopwa FC hosting Moyale Barracks at Kamuzu Stadium.
And the biggest match of the day will see Civil Service United welcoming Silver Strikers at Civo Stadium in the first derby of the season.