Clash of giants in the TNM Super League

Blantyre Derby, TNM Super League

It is Saturday, a day TNM Super League football lovers all over Malawi look forward to.

The Blantyre derby between Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets is regarded as the supreme fixture.  A lot is at stake when the two clash.

That the tempo of the Derby has gone down is no issue to debate about, mainly due to the COVID-19 restrictions that will see only 250 people patronising the match on Saturday at Kamuzu Stadium.

This is the game that normally attracts fans for the two teams from all walks of life including from as far as the Northern Region.

This time, the two sides meet at the time Bullets seem to be enjoying good form, sitting on position two in the league with 25 points

Be Forward Wanderers on the other hand is 10th with 17 points having played same number of games at 12.

History favours the red side going into the match, but since the COVID-19 break took it toll, Wanderers cannot be ruled out completely based on the log table stands because these two teams play with a purpose when meeting each other. 

Be Forward Wanderers captain, Alfred Manyozo junior said over the week that everyone is charged up and ready to make it happen (NdiZotheka).

"We have encouraged each other that we should forget about the past results, and our current position, and focus on collecting maximum points from this match. We have won a number of games consecutively some previous weeks and we are in form now," he said.

His colleague, Yunus Sherrif, a new signing at the club said he is ready to star in his derby debut.

"It is a great feeling. I have played Bullets while at Silver and playing with them in a derby looks a new thing. I am therefore ready to upset them and ensure at the end of the day victory is ours," he said.

Bullets coach, Kalisto Pasuwa said they will regard the derby as any other game.

"We are supposed to play all the teams in the league, and Wanderers is one of them. They are a good side such that we do not take into account their position in the league. The good thing about derby is that players push themselves knowing how important it is. Yes we have been rocked by some injuries, but the other boys will do the work," he said.

What records say

Last season, the two sides shared spoils in the first and second rounds. 

In 2018 they also registered one-all and goalless draws in both rounds.

In 2017 season, Bullets won 1-0 in the first round, before a one-all draw in the second round.

The 2016 season produced similar results with Bullets winning 1-0 in the second round, after a one-all draw in the first one.

It is only in the 2015 season when the people's team dominated both rounds winning 2-1 in the first round, and 1-0 in the last round.

Bullets need the three points from this match to reduce the gap with leaders, Silver Strikers who now have 31 points.

The Bankers will play on Sunday against Tigers FC at Silver Stadium.

One more for Saturday is the match involving Mzuzu Warriors and Ntopwa FC at Mzuzu Stadium.

Ntopwa will then be hosted by Ekwendeni Hammers the next day, as Chiwembe Stadium will witness the clash of military teams between Red Lions and Moyale.