Now that the TNM Super League second round is resuming this weekend, coaches are hoping for nothing less than a miracle to help them catch Nyasa Big Bullets who are currently favorites to retain their title.
Following a two week break, the second stanza of the top flight league commences this weekend with some exciting and intriguing fixtures in all the three regions across the country.
Three games have been lined up on Saturday by the Super League of Malawi, with the rest of the teams kicking of their second halves of the season 24 hours later.
With their recalibrate and readjusted ambitions for the remainder of the season, each of them will be hopeful of a start much like that of Bullets, who are in pursuit of a fourth league crown on the trot.
Already boasting the most formidable squad in the league interms of depth, The People’s Team will target to win eight games for them to defend their title after opening up a 11 point lead over second placed Blue Eagles and a massive 13 and 15 point lead over rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Silver Strikers FC respectively.
The 15-time Super League winners who ended the first round unbeaten with 41 points from the possible 45, will resume the 2022 campaign with a tricky fixture against Kamuzu Barracks at home on Saturday.
As Bullets will be taking on the Capital City Soldiers, the Central Bankers will be hosting Mafco FC at Silver Stadium, in what is likely to be their final home match following reports that their facility will be closed for maintainance works ahead of Zone 5 games in December this year.
Struggling Mighty Tigers will travel up North to take on Moyale Barracks in another important match for the two teams who are just four and two points clear of the bottom three.
On Sunday, Blue Eagles, one of the title contenders, will travel to Karonga to play a very unpredictable Karonga United at Karonga Stadium.
Eagles will play a day after Bullets’ game and any result apart from three points, will surely see the area 30 based side’ dream of winning the league slowly fading away.
At Kasungu Stadium, TN Stars, stuck in the bottom three with 12 points, will host Wanderers in an epic encounter which would see the Kasungu based side moving out of the drop zone if they record a win over the Lali Lubani giants who are also eyeing up the second position to dislodge Eagles who are on a six winless run in the league.
One of the most anticipated games for the opening week of the second round will be at Mulanje Park Stadium where relegation threatened Sable Farming will host fellow rookies Dedza Dynamos, a team which is currently doing well in their first top flight league appearance.
At Rumphi Stadium, Rumphi United and Ekwendeni Hammers will square off for the much important points in order to survive relegation by the end of the current season.
The Leopards of Chikulamayembe, fondly known, are bottom of the table with 9 points whilst Ekwendeni Hammers are just two points above the relegation zone with 13 points from 15 games.
The final match of the week will see Civil Service United hosting Red Lions at a venue yet to be named by Sulom following government’ decision to close down Civo Stadium for renovations ahead of the much anticipated Zone 5 games this year.
Some of the teams expected to challenge Bullets for the league title have already thrown in the towel despite having fifteen more games to play.
For instance, the only way for The Central Bankers to win the title is for Bullets to lose five games, a situation which has never happened to The People’s Team for the past decade.
The only time Bullets recorded more defeats was in 2020/21 season in which they lost four times to Karonga United, Silver Strikers, Moyale Barracks and Wanderers but ever since, the current log leaders would go the entire season with only two defeats.
With the league seemingly out of reach, the Area 47 side will push to finish as close as possible behind Bullets.
So tight is the race for a top four finish that the gap between Eagles, Wanderers, Silver and Kamuzu Barracks is only four points.
To make matters even more interesting, these four teams will play against each other and chances are their that they would keep on rotating for the position.
At the wrong end of the table, teams such as Moyale Barracks, Mighty Tigers, Ekwendeni Hammers, TN Stars, Sable Farming and Rumphi United will be keen to start pickin up crucial points to aid their survival bids when the final phase resumes.
The gap between TN Stars in the basement ant Hammers, who are 13th position and on 13 points, is only three points. The two teams have all played 15 games.
The Chiradzulu based Sable hoped their fortunes would change when they brought in MacDonald Mtetemera to the helm towards the end of the first round after sending Joseph Malizani to an early suspension. However, Nginde, as popularly known, has only won one match from seven, when they beat fellow strugglers Tigers FC 2-0.
Despite these displays, Sable Farming’s hierarchy believes Mtetemera can lead the team to safety, come the end of the season.
As for Rumphi United, things are not looking good for a team which started well with some series of results at home.
The last time they tested victory was a 1-0 win over Civil Service United but since then, they have turned themselves into weeping boys as they keep on registering defeats week in, week out.
Nevertheless, we should all anticipate a very exciting second round fixtures as the battle for supremacy will once again highlight the highs of the ongoing season.
Saturday, 23 July, 2023
-Nyasa Big Bullets vs Kamuzu Barracks
-Silver Strikers vs Mafco FC
-Moyale Barracks vs Mighty Tigers
Sunday, 24 July, 2022
-TN Stars vs Mighty Wanderers
-Karonga United vs Blue Eagles
-Rumphi United vs Ekwendeni Hammers
-Civil Service United vs Red Lions
-Sable Farming vs Dedza Dynamos.
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