The Chipolopolo boys will on Sunday afternoon battle the mambas of Mozambique in the first round, first leg encounter of the Algeria 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) at the Estadio Do Zimpeto at 15:00 hours.
Aljosa Asanovic’s bullets who have been holed up in Maputo from Wednesday have soaked in the surroundings and will have qualms with the weather when they take to the pitch.
They will be facing a mambas outfit that is playing a home match for the first time in eight months and welcoming fans who have been starved of football for a while.
Coach Asanovic just like his opposite Chiquinho Conde has maintained his Cosafa 2022 squad to do duty in the CHAN assignment.
The battle for the starting berth between the posts will be between Lawrence Mulenga and Charles Kalumba with Cyril Chibwe in a race for a late fitness test.
At the back skipper Benedict Chepeshi will have many candidates lining up to join his among them Luka Chamanga, Prosper Chiluya and Shemmy Mayembe. Others competing for places at the back are Dominic Chanda, Allan Kapila, Warren Kunda and Luka Banda.
In the middle of the pack options abound with the hub hinged on either Kelvin Kapumbu, Dickson Chapa or Saddam Phiri while creative possibilities may lie in Kelvin Kampamba, Joshua Mutale, Patrick Gondwe and Albert Kangwanda. The striking options has Ricky Banda, Enock Sakala Junior and Jimmy ‘Zobrigo’ Mukeya.
The Chipolopolo should be wary of a Mozambique side playing before a home crowd with the likes of Bonde, Ernesto and Dove looking to inspire the mambas to victory.
The game will kickoff at 15:00 hours.
Zambia and Mozambique will conclude their tie on July 30 at National Heroes Stadium with the winner facing Malawi in the final qualifying round.
The CHAN is a tournament (Africa Cup) exclusive to players plying their trade in the domestic leagues of their countries.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Mozambique National Television will broadcast the game live while availability of the match in Zambia will be advised in due course.