Here comes the much-anticipated-for Blantyre derby

Malawi’s football arch rivals, Mighty Wanderers and Big Bullets, are once again scheduled to entertain their faithful this Saturday in the much-anticipated-for Blantyre derby, which in the past three years, the People’s Team have dominated.Duncan Logo

In 2014, the two bitter rivals met four times in which the Bullets won three times (2-0 twice and 1-0) and one ended in a one-all draw.

In 2015, they met three times and twice the Bullets won (2-1 and 1-0) and thew Nomads carried the day in the third game 2-1 while this year, they have played twice with Bullets winning 2-0 and drawing 1-1.

Saturday’s derby is billed to be very fascinating because both have titles to their head — Big Bullets being the defending champions of the TNM Super League and also Presidential Cup winners while Wanderers are champions of the Carlsberg Cup.

Wanderers will try to curtail Bullets’ dominance over them while the Peoples’ Team will be out to gain valuable points in their fight to try and retain the title.

The Bullets are 5th on the log table with 33 points from 19 games, tying on points with 4th-placed Kamuzu Barracks — who have played 20 games while the Nomads are 8th with 29 points from 19 games.

Leading the pack are Mafco with 37 points from 19 games with Silver Strikers on second positing with 36 points from 18 games while Blue Eagles are third with 35 points from 18 games.

The title is within reach for the Bullets as they are just four points away from the leaders. They need not to drop any point from this point to garner 66 maximum points at the end of the season while praying those at the top should drop points.

So this match will definitely live up to its billing as the best derby in Malawi’s football taking into account these issues.

The season is getting interesting since we have unlikely leaders in the name of Mafco. From 19 games, the Salima-based soldiers have won 11 games, drew four and lost four and their striker Richard Mbulu is the top scorer with 13 goals — two ahead of three other contenders for the Golden Boot — Bullets’ Chiukepo Msowoya, Kamuzu Barracks’ Manasseh Chiyesa and Wanderers’ Peter Wadabwa.

Mafco don’t have a game this weekend by second-placed Silver, who travel to Blantyre to meet Azam Tigers. From 18 games, the Bankers won 11, drew three and lost four.

Third-placed Blue Eagles host bottom of the table Maxi Bullets. The Cops have also played 18 games, won 10, drew five and lost three.

The second round will definitely be very intriguing and it’s going to be a photo finish unlike last season when Bullets were runaway leaders.

Here comes the Blantyre derby and may the fans enjoy what they have always done when it comes to this hot fixture of the season.

Who knows, there might be another derby coming soon if the two arc rivals are drawn together in the FISD Challenge, whose national draw shall be conducted later this week.

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