The Standard Bank Knockout Cup preliminaries are scheduled to kick off Wednesday at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The first match will feature Kamuzu Barracks (KB) and Dedza Young Soccer while Mafco and Mighty be Forward Wanderers meet in the second preliminary game on Thursday at the same venue.
The victorious two teams will join the six initial teams in the quarter-finals.
The four teams’ participation was determined by fans through voting at Standard Bank Cup branches across the country.
KB coach Temwa Msuku said they are not underestimating the Super League rookies.
“Cup competitions are always very tough and we cannot toy around with the idea of underrating Dedza.
“They are a good side and the tricky part is that they are unpredictable. We are taking this game very seriously knowing that this is the only chance we have to win a cup this season,” said Msuku.
His Dedza counterpart Milias Pofera-Jegwe said his could be the surprise team of the 2015 edition of the tournament.
“We want to repay the fans for voting for our participation by causing a stir. Our aim is to go far in this competition.
“We have played KB a couple of times, we know their style and we were also ‘neighbours’ when we used to share Dedza Stadium as our home ground before they shifted base. So, we know what to expect from them,” said Pofera.
KB will bank their hopes in the likes of captain Harvey Nkacha, Manase Chiyesa, Dave Banda and Ben Hojani while Dedza has skipper Chisomo Mpachika, Chisomo Giliyani and Pachalo Ngwira.
In their Super League first-round meeting, Dedza emerged 1-0 victors.
Meanwhile, Wanderers coach Elia Kananji has said his team has switched focus from the Carlsberg Cup glory to the Standard Bank showpiece
“The Carlsberg Cup glory is now water under the bridge and we now have to focus at the task at hand.
“Mafco are always a tough opponent, but we are ready for them. The players know the importance of this match,” said Kananji.
Mafco’s captain Zasher M’nong’neza also said they are set for the match in their quest to qualify or the quarter-finals.
The winner in the match between KB and Dedza Young Soccer will face Civo United while winner in the match between Mafco and Wanderers will take on Red Lions in the quarter-finals.
In other quarter-final fixtures are as follows: Big Bullets have been drawn against Moyale while Silver Strikers—who are the defending champions— will face Blue Eagles.
The quarter-finals are slated for September 27. Semi-finals and finals are scheduled for October 17 and 31 respectively.