The battle lines have been drawn in Malawi where Nyasa Big Bullets FC awaits Amazulu FC.
This confrontation will take place under the auspices of the Confederation African Football (CAF) Champions League. A week ago in Durban, Bullets pipped Usuthu (1-0) to take an away-goal to Blantyre this weekend.
But, it is the happenings off-the-field that have transformed this CAF Inter-Club. FARPost’s Technical Study Group (TSG) will help digest these events and unpack what lies ahead today at 16:00 at Bingu Stadium.
1. The “People’s Team”
The “People’s Team” as Bullets are known by their ardent supporters, are arguably the biggest and most supported club in Malawi. Previously known as Bata Bullets, they also have a sound financial backing, inherent by a professional board with credible governance model.
Bullets’ Chiukepo Msowoya scored the solitary goal in the 26th minute at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. Msowoya lead a group of hardworking, committed and hungry teammates, who are ready to die for the club.
2. Bullet’ coach
Calisto Pasuwa, the Bullets coach is a hardened and experienced technician. The Zimbabwean mentor has previously coached his native country and led them to the African Cup of Nations Cup in 2017.
In preparation for this titanic clash, Pasuwa led Bullets to final tournament (CECAFA Cup 2021) loss against Express FC (Uganda). Bullets under Pasiwa applies a typical 1-4-4-2 or 1-4-3-3 attacking system that relies on tactical bravery, composed defensive structure and individual goal-poaching.
3. Wobbly Usuthu
As for the other representative of the PSL (other Mamelodi Sundowns FC) in this championships, AmaZulu has been wobbly on all fronts.
In all four matches played across all competitions, Usuthu are winless. Notably, their performance has been characterized by a blunt attacking line, that has further been compounded by loss of form of their star performers from last season.
4. Benni factor
Benni McCarthy is a coach under immense pressure. Beside a loss of form, McCarthy’s charges have been brittle and inconsistent in their approach.
This has seen McCarthy lose his composure and ethical protocol on the bench. His fight and comments in the last matches against (Bullets and SuperSport United), has not assisted, but spiked this encounter into the ‘Benni behavioural factor’
On paper, AmaZulu possess the pedigree, charisma and talent to dispose Bullets lightly. But, the Blantyre outfit has demonstrated a unique approach of consolidated defence and counter-attacking at precise moment.
An early goal will see AmaZulu back in this tie, whilst an earlier Bullet goal will tip the scale in the host’s favour.
Still, a perfect CAF Champions League game (16:00) is delicately poised.
By FARPost Technical Study Group