Week 8 preview: Bullets, Wanderers in tricky fixtures up north

There is football fiesta at Karonga Stadium this weekend when it will host two high profile matches involving two unpredictable dark horses from the north and two Blantyre based giants in week eight of the 2023 TNM Super League season.

There will also be more exciting fixtures across the country, with Silver Strikers aiming to continue winning when they travel to Mponela to play Kamuzu Barracks whilst Bangwe All Stars and Red Lions will strive to bounce back from last week’s hammering at the hands of giants when they face off at Mpira Stadium.

There is plenty of action in the Super League, but let’s preview some of the fixtures.

Chitipa United v FCB Nyasa Big Bullets

The log leaders have had a perfect start to their title defense, winning and scoring goals for fun, the latest being their 4-0 win over Red Lions, a match which would have had more than seven goals had it been the three goals, wrongly disallowed by the first and second assistants referees for offsides calls, were allowed to stand.

The People’s Team have never lost to Chitipa regardless of where they meet, with the last meeting between the two teams ending 2-0 in favor of Bullets in the quarterfinals of the FDH Bank Cup.

The last league meeting between Saturday’s opponents at Karonga Stadium was in 2020/21 season, in which Bullets won 2-0 courtesy of the first half strikes from Hassan Kajoke and Mike Mkwate.

But this season’s meeting is totally different from the previous encounters.

Bullets will come up against an equally confident side, which is coming from a memorable 1-0 away from home victory over Mighty Mukuru Wanderers. The giant killers have vowed to put Bullets to the sword, and this will depend on how they will approach the game. This is one of the games to watch. A win for Bullegs will see them maintaining their perfect start to the season whilst Chitipa’s victory would see them moving into the top four.

Mafco FC v Moyale Barracks

Mafco will be highly upset with their dismal start to the season. A measly eight points from seven games doesn’t bode well for a Top 4 finish that they should be capable of. However, they can move up in the standings if they can claim back-to-back victories after they defeated Extreme FC 2-1 last week.
But facing Moyale, a side also looking for a win following back-to-back draws to Wanderers and Blue Eagles, might be a tough task for Prichard Mwansa, who will be hosting his former club.

The Mzuzu based soldiers, who are sitting in position six, can move up to fourth (depending on Chitipa’s result over Bullets) and consider that Karonga United will host Wanderers on Sunday.

It’s a battle of friendly forces where a win for either side would rediscover a winning formula.

Blue Eagles v Extreme FC

If you asked soccer pundits at the beginning of the season where they thought Blue Eagles would be sitting at this stage, it would’ve been entirely opposite to the current situation.

The Area 30 based side, runners up last season, have found life very difficult this season as they have only registered one win, five draws and one defeat to drop into 9th position with 8 points from seven games.

A side that had conceded a few goals in thirty games last season has already conceded eight goals and are lagging behind in the title race, failing to continue from where they stopped last season. But this game might give them relief based on how their opponents are struggling since earning promotion into the Super League.

Extreme FC are rock bottom, sitting on two points with a minus seven goal difference. They haven’t won any game apart from the two draws they registered. They have five defeats in the seven games played.

Bangwe All Stars v Red Lions

Two struggling teams face off at Mpira Stadium for maximum points. Bangwe All Stars have registered three straight defeats at the hands of Bullets, Wanderers, and Silver, dropping into 14th position with six points from seven games. One wouldn’t blame them because they have now played against the three top teams.