blue will be the common denominator when two of this seasons’ Super League strugglers Silver Strikers and Mighty Wanderers face each other at the Silver Stadium on Saturday in Week 7 of the 2022 TNM Super League.
Beyond the traditional blue colours of Mighty Wanderers and the Sky Blue of Silver Strikers, the two teams are also united in their league blues this season; they are both struggling and yet to hit the mark associated with their pedigree.
The two giants have already lost two games each at this early stage of the season having played just six games so far.
The Nomads are on fifth position with 10 points while their bluemates are on 10th position with just 8 points.
And the two heavyweights go into Saturdays’ clash after registering defeats in their previous league games.
Wanderers were beaten 1-2 at home by Kamuzu Barracks while the Bankers lost 0-1 away to Blue Eagles in Week 6.
Saturday encounter has therefore been mockingly dubbed “the best losers” clash by supporters of teams that are enjoying a good ride in the league thus far.
For Silver, Coach Daniel Kabwe will have to do without the injured midfielder Blessings Tembo who limped off after just 10 minutes of play against Blue Eagles in what looked like a recurring knee injury he suffered against Civo some weeks ago.
Red hot striker Chawanangwa Kaonga might undergo a late fitness test to feature against wanderers as he too was taken off against Eagles after suffering a cut on his upper lip in an aerial duel.
In the absence of the duo, Kabwe will have to turn to veteran Frank Banda to lead the attack alongside Stain Dave who is yet to pick form this season.
Silver’s main problem this season has been lack of consistency as the team’s most reliable players are yet to pick form.
For instance in Midfield, kingpin Taonga Chimodzi is yet to complete a game this season as he has on several occasion been taken off and has started some matches from the bench.
In attack, last season’s wonderkid Zebron Kalima is yet to replicate last season’s form which saw him earn a place in the Flames’ final squad to Cameroun.
His contribution has been minimal as he looks to have gained more weight as compared to last season.
Upfront, the whole responsibility of finding the goals has been left in the hands of Chawanangwa Kaonga.
The Bankers have netted five league goals this season and of those goals, three have come from Kaonga while Zebron Kalima and Nixon Mwase are the only other players to have found the net for the Bankers. In the absence of Kaonga you would expect the Bankers to struggle.
The other three Strikers Stain Dave, Maxwell Phodo and Frank Banda have all been firing blanks.
As for Wanderers, they share almost similar problems with Silver; lack of consistency as Coach Eddingtone Ng’onamo is still trying different combinations.
Upfront, Ng’onamo is yet to identify a perfect match from his three main strikers of Chiukepo Msowoya, Muhammad Sulumba and Vincent Nyangulu while in Midfield new signing Balikinho Mwakanyongo seems to be the only guaranteed plot holder having displaced captain Alfred Manyozo .
At Mpira Stadium, struggling debutants Sable Farming welcome the high flying table topping Blue eagles who are yet to taste defeat and have only dropped points once this season in a 1-1 draw at home against Champions Nyasa Big Bullets.
The Eagles come into the match buoyed by last weekend’s narrow 1-0 home win over rivals Silver Strikers.
However, this weekend Eagles coach Eliah Kananji will have to do without the injured Sankhani Mkandawire whom Kananji confirmed is not available for selection.
Apart from Mkandawire, Kananji takes to Blantyre a near full strength squad and in the absence of Mkandawire Kananji will have to turn to Osward Maonga to partner Mac Lameck and Ian Chinyama in defence.
As wining teams rarely change, Kananji will have to maintain a majority of the team that started against Silver Strikers with Captain Schumakor Kuwali leading the attacking line alongside Gaddie Chirwa.
As for Sable, the Chiradzulu based side sit on position 14 with five points from five games and Coach Joseph Malizani knows that if he is to survive relegation then he needs to start winning home matches.
Of course Malizani knows it won’t be easy to face Kananji’s highflying Eagles and the former TN Stars mentor will have to turn to the experienced George Nyirenda to lead his troops at Mpira Stadium.
Upfront, the responsibility of banging the goals will be left in the hands of forwards Christopher Gototo and Emmanuel Linoh while Simeon Singa will be expected to do the supplies from midfield.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Lilongwe rivals Kamuzu Barracks and Civo United clash at the Civo Stadium.
It is a match that pits two teams enjoying contrasting fortunes at this early stage of the season.
Kamuzu Barracks sit on position three with 13 points from six games while Civo are on position six with nine points from seven games.
The Chioko Boys having been banging goals for fun this season having netted 11 goals in six games averaging 1.5 goals per game.
Coach Charles Kamanga might welcome back forward Deus Mkutu who missed last weekend’s 2-1 win over Wanderers due to an injury he suffered two weeks ago against Moyale Barracks. Winger Chimwemwe Chisambi has also resumed training and might be in contention for selection this weekend.
As for Civo, the Servants had a weekend of mixed fortunes last weekend out after they managed to collect three points out of a possible six on their Northern region tour winning against Ekwendeni and going down to rookies Rumphi United 24 hours later.
Action on Saturday completes with a clash involving Red Lions and Rumphi United at Balaka Stadium.
Reports from Zomba indicate that Red Lions have suspended head coach Mike Kumanga following a string of poor results which has seen the team occupy 11th place after amassing eight points from seven games, a not a so impressive return for a team that managed to collect seven points from its first three games.
And on Saturday they face a Rumphi side which sits just below them on position 12 with six points having beaten Civo United at home last week. Surely the morale must be high in the Rumphi camp.
And action continues on Sunday as defending Champions Nyasa Big Bullets, now playing catch up to leaders Blue Eagles, face Rumphi United at the Kamuzu Stadium.
At Karonga Stadium, struggling Karonga United, yet to win a match this season, face a rejuvenated MAFCO side which has won their last two matches having gone four games without a win.
At Mzuzu Stadium it is the Mzuzu Derby as Ekwendeni United play host to struggling Moyale Barracks who are coming from two back to back losses having lost last Wednesday’s home tie against Nyasa Big Bullets.
Coach Pricthrad Mwansa has made it clear that things are not looking good for the Lions and that results must start coming.
Action in week 7 completes on Monday as Dedza Dynamos face TN Stars at Civo Stadium.