By VICTOR KUMWENDA
BRUISED Nkana today return to local action when they visit resurgent Kabwe Warriors in an MTN Super Division Week 22 match at Godfrey Chitalu Stadium in Kabwe.
Nkanaâ€™s visit comes seven days after their 3-0 away loss to Sewe Sport of Ivory Coast that denied them a place in the 2014 Confederation Cup semi-finals.
And with their continental obligations out of the way, Nkana can now solely focus on the business of retaining the league title.
Nkana are currently fifth on 32 points from 18 games and with three games in hand and six points ahead of ninth positioned Warriors.
Coach Beston Chambeshi said Nkana cannot afford to drop points at Warriors, whom they beat 5-0 in the first leg on May 3 in Kitwe.
â€œIt is the most important game for us and we have to start picking points. After our exit from the Confederation Cup, we want to challenge for the league,â€ Chambeshi said.
However, Nkana face a Warriors side that has taken a new complexion under Mohammed Fathy, who replaced Wesley Mondo in May this year.
Warriors are unbeaten in their last five games in which they have won four and drawn one.
Nkanaâ€™s objectives have been hit by the unavailability of strikers Ronald Kampamba and Simon Bwalya, including midfielder Donashano Malama, who are away on Chipolopolo duty in Lusaka.
Zambia face Sudan tomorrow in an international friendly at National Heroes Stadium.
Chambeshi will have to bank on Festus Mbewe and Shadreck Musonda for goals as he searches for his second win in three league games in charge.
The teams have 17 Super Division titles between them – 12 for Nkana and five for Warriors and this match could go either way.
In other games, leaders Zanaco visit Nakambala Leopards in Mazabuka, while third-placed Power Dynamos entertain tail-enders Roan United at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
Zanaco have 44 points, two better than Zesco United while Power are on 40 points.
In Ndola, second- placed Zesco take on relegation- threatened Red Arrows at Trade Fair Ground while Indeni host Napsa Stars in a lunchtime kick-off at the same venue.
Tomorrow, Chingolaâ€™s Nchanga Stadium will host a double header involvingÂ Konkola Mine Police versus Konkola Blades and Nchanga Rangers against Green Eagles.