Thursday at the King Zwelithini Stadium, the defending champions Zambia will begin their title defense against Malawi. The two teams were placed in Group B of the competition alongside Seychelles and Comoros. Malawi failed to go past the group stage last year, as Zambia won their sixth COSAFA Cup championship.
Zambia vs Malawi
The competition’s structure has changed this year, and all clubs will participate in the group stage. The top four teams according to the FIFA rankings joined the event in the knockout stage in previous iterations.
Last month, Zambia defeated Ivory Coast 3-0 in a match for the Africa Cup of Nations. Malawi’s most recent AFCON qualifying match was in June, where they held Ethiopia to a scoreless draw. Both sides have had more than two weeks to recover and prepare before the season starts.
The hosts are off to a strong start in this game, having won their last three games straight. The hosts have had some success on their own grounds. Zambia has scored three or more goals in three of their previous four home games, and they haven’t been dishing out free throws—only allowing two goals in their last six games. They will view this match as a chance to keep another clean sheet if they can maintain their dominance in defense.
The visitors have had a fairly underwhelming presence while in possession. In each of their last four games, they have gone scoreless. The data suggest that their recent finishing may not have been precise, but they will undoubtedly attempt deeper penetration in this game.
In 2023, Chipolopolo won three of its four games while scoring at least two goals in each contest. They’ve also kept a few clean sheets over that time.
The Flames have been playing poorly lately and have gone without a victory in any contest since last July. In addition, they had just one victory in their last eight COSAFA Cup contests.
It’s interesting to note that, with six victories in 12 games versus their Western competitors, who had four victories, they have been the superior team in the 21st century. However, given Zambia’s history in the tournament and current performance, we predict a slim victory for them.
Our favorite to win this match is Zambia. The Flames are apprehensive of their opponent as they were destroyed 6-4 in the most recent COSAFA competition, a knockout game that Zambia won 6-4 in regular time. As a result, we are betting on Zambia’s Copper Bullets to win this game and take note of Malawi’s Flames’ recent scoring drought of just one goal in five games. Zambia had none in as many games while the hosts had three victories in their last five games.
Tip: Zambia to win / Over 2.5 Goals
Zambia to win – ❌
Over 2.5 Goals – ❌
Bet Here > Bet9ja
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Over 2.5 goals
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.