Battle of the undefeated: Eagles, Bullets in Nankhaka Battle, Nomads seek first away win: 2022 Super League Week 4 preview

Battle of the undefeated: Eagles, Bullets in Nankhaka Battle, Nomads seek first away win: 2022 Super League Week 4 preview

Table toping Blue Eagles face real test of character this weekend when they welcome Champions Nyasa Big Bullets in the 2022 TNM Super League at Nankhaka Ground in Lilongwe on Saturday.

Blue Eagles come into the match enjoying a rich vein of form which has seen them go three games without conceding a goal. The Area 30 side sit on the top of the League table having accumulated nine points and scoring four goals in the process.

On Saturday, the Policemen face fourth placed Nyasa Big Bullets who are yet to taste defeat in the current campaign as well having won both of their opening round fixtures scoring five goals and conceding two.

Attention will be on former Nyasa Big Bullets defender, Sankhani Mkandawire whom the club released at the end of last season with the defender opting to join the Eagles.

And Mkandawire seems to have found a home at Area 30 as he has started all the three league games forming, alongside another former Bullets player Ian Cbhinyama and Chisomo Chilasa, the only backline yet to concede in the elite league this season.

Eagles Coach Eliah Kananji will also be hoping to put spanners into the works of his former team Bullets whom he also had a stint with guiding them to their  first Super League title in nine years in the 2014/15 after the People’s Team were last crowned champions in the 2004/05 season. Kananji also guided Bullets to the Carlsberg Cup glory in 2014 but was sacked as Bullets Assistant Coach following Bullets’ 1-0 Airtel Top 8 Cup Final defeat to Blue Eagles in 2017.

The Eagles seem to be too economical in front of goal scoring just four goals  in three matches but also have the meanest defence while  Bullets on the other end seem have already scored five goals in two outings while the People’s Team are finding fun in scoring having netted five times  but already conceded twice.  

Coach Eliah Kananji will have to turn to a similar line up to the one that started against Moyale with Brighton Munthali manning the goal posts.

In defence Kananji will trust his usual suspects, Ina Chinyama at left back while Chisomo Chilasa takes up his place at right back with Sankhani Mkandawire taking charge of central defensive duties.

In Midfield Kananji has shown so much trust in Gilbert Chirwa who might partner either Gaddie Chirwa or Stuart Mbunge while upfront, the experienced Shcumakor Kuwali will lead the line alongside Junior Malidadi. There might also be a place in the starting eleven for Flames international Micium Mhone, who is yet to reclaim his place in the starting line up since the season started.

For Bullets, Coach Callisto Pasuwa seems to be trying different combinations as he keeps rotating his squad since the beginning of the season.

The Zimbabwean has however maintained his backline in the two games so far with  Richard Chimbamba in goal, Kesten Simbi and Haji Wali in central defence while Gomezgani Chirwa and Precious Sambani are operating as full backs.

In midfield, Pasuwa will have to go for the experienced legs of Henry Kabichi and Captain Chimwemwe Idana but it is upfront where Pasuwa is unpredictable.

Having scored his first goal of the season last weekend, last season’s top goal scorer, Hassan Kajoke might be rewarded with a starting berth alongside Babatunde Adepoju with wonder kid Lanjesi Nkhoma operating from the left flank.

At Mzuzu Stadium, two teams that are yet to pick form this season face each other as Moyale Barracks welcome Mighty Wanderers.

Moyale have won one and lost two games this season while Wanderers have won one, drawn one and lost one.

Moyale coach Pritchrad Mwansa will therefore be looking for a win to kick-start his season as wins against the so-called giants help boost confidence. Mwansa will however have to do without his forward Lucky Mdezo and defender Innocent Botoman who are both out injured.

As for Wanderers, coach Eddingtone Ng’onamo is yet to identify his first eleven as he keeps trying out different combinations in the three games played so far.

The Nomads have not had happy moments playing at Mzuzu Stadium with the best result being a draw in the past three seasons.

Another struggling giant yet to pick up form this season is Silver strikers.

On Saturday the Bankers travel to Karonga to face an unpredictable Karonga United.

Last time the Bankers were in Karonga for a league match, the match was abandoned after the home team protested a referees’ decision and the match had to be decided from the boardroom with the Area 47 side being awarded three points.

Silver have started the season on a not so impressive run as they have won just once, drawing once and losing once while  Karonga, continue searching for their first win of the season having drawn twice and lost once in their opening three fixtures.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Rumphi United, in search for their first goal of the season, welcome a resilient Mighty Tigers which is showing early signs of an improved side to the team that nearly got relegated last season.

Rumphi are winless in three games and are yet to score a goal and have appointed Coach Moses Chirambo to replace Gilbert Chirwa who stepped aside earlier this week.

As for Tigers, they have accumulated five points from three games and are yet to taste defeat this season.

Action on Saturday completes at Chiwembe Stadium where winless Sable Farming welcomes third placed Red Lions.

The Lions are enjoying some rich vein of form having won twice and drawn once while Sable occupy 13th place having drawn twice and lost once.

Action continues on Sunday as Civo United face a MAFCO side in search of its first win of the season while at Kasungu Stadium, 15th placed TN Stars face an inconsistent Kamuzu Barracks and at Mzuzu Stadium, Ekwendeni Hammers play host to Tigers FC.

Pic: Aluso Media

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