The Big Blantyre Derby preview: Derby with big implications for Wanderers

The first Blantyre derby to be played at Kamuzu Stadium in over a year and without spectators due to Covid-19 is upon us and the result will have bad consequences for the loser, especially if the loser is Be Forward Wanderers.

The two teams are separated BY eight points and a win is a must for the Lali Lubani boys if they are to remain in the title race against Bullets and early set pacers Silver Strikers.

It’s a Blantyre derby confrontation with a lot at stake as the visitors and second placed Bullets aim to defend the title they won last season whilst Wanderers would want reduce the gap between themselves and the top four teams.

Improved Bullets would be keen to maintain their eight-year unbeaten run over Wanderers in the top flight league.

Since the resumption of the game, the two teams have had mixed results, with Wanderers registering three wins, a loss and a draw whilst Bullets registered four wins and a single draw from which eight goals were scored and conceded only one to move from eighth to second in the standings.

However, this weekend’s encounter boasts more than just bragging rights up for grabs between the Blantyre giants.

It’s a must-win for Wanderers in order to move from their unfamiliar position to at least get closer to the top four in the pecking order.

Last time out in the Super League, the derby ended in an entertaining stalemate at the Kamuzu Stadium in November, 2019.

Wanderers would also want to avenge their title loss to Bullets as the People’s team grabbed the title right under the noses of their rivals who had earlier on maintained a lead before surrendering it to the defending champions with less than five games to play.

The Nomads will also be eager to break the eight-year winless run over Bullets but they will have to be at their level best in order to overcome a highly spirited side which has made Kamuzu Stadium a no-go zone area for any other team for the past eight years.

Wanderers players training ahead of the derby. Source: Wanderers Facebook Page

On the other hand, Bullets are the masters of Blantyre derbies.

In 2017, Wanderers were favorites to beat Bullets who had several of their key players injured but the People’s team carried the day with an emphatic victory to remind their neighbors that when it comes to bragging rights, Blantyre City belongs to the red side of the town.

Victory for Bullets will see them opening a 11-point gap between them and their rivals and they would close the gap with the league leaders to just three points.

Bullets are still unbeaten at Kamuzu Stadium in the ongoing season but anything can happen in a Blantyre derby where form doesn’t count.

Heading into this encounter, both teams have a remarkable defensive record, conceding 10 and 8 goals respectively.

Bullets have scored 22 league goals, 6 more than their rivals.

This looks likely to be a very special derby where the winner will have all the reasons to walk around the town with heads up high.

The coveted Blantyre Derby has always promised to entertain, but after a few less than impressive clashes in previous seasons, there is no doubt the derby has to some extent, lost its x-factor, as fans, especially from Wanderers, have been given very little to celebrate.

But on Saturday, both teams will be hoping to resurrect the ‘dead derby’ to the satisfaction of supporters who will not be able to watch their teams in action due to the Covid-19 restrictions by government.

TEAM NEWS

Both teams have no fresh injuries to their list, with Bullets welcoming back Meshack Selemani who had a knock last week.

FORM GUIDE:

Be Forward Wanderers: WWWLD (position 10)

Nyasa Big Bullets: WWDWW (position 2)

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS

2019 season

-Be Forward Wanderers 0-0 Nyasa Big Bullets

-Nyasa Big Bullets 0-0 Be Forward Wanderers

2018 season

-Nyasa Big Bullets 1-1 Be Forward Wanderers

-Be Forward Wanderers 0-0 Nyasa Big Bullets

2017 season

-Be Forward Wanderers 1-1 Nyasa Big Bullets

-Nyasa Big Bullets 1-0 Be Forward Wanderers

2016 season

-Be Forward Wanderers 0-1 Nyasa Big Bullets

-Nyasa Big Bullets 1-1 Be Forward Wanderers

2015 season

-Nyasa Big Bullets 1-0 Be Forward Wanderers

-Be Forward Wanderers 1-2 Nyasa Big Bullets

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