VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka
CHAMPIONS Zanaco today face a stern challenge in their pursuit of an eighth Super Division title when they take on Nkana in a Week Seven clash at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Third-placed Zanaco have 13 points, five better than Nkana.
Second-placed Lumwana Radiants host Nchanga Rangers while draw kings Power Dynamos tackle Green Eagles at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
Leaders Zesco, who beat City of Lusaka 1-0 yesterday, have 14 points at par with Lumwana but the former have a healthier goal aggregate.
ZANACO v NKANA
“It will be tough. We have to work hard to maintain our momentum. It’s something we have to do. Nkana are playing good football even though they have struggled in recent matches,” Zanaco coach Mumamba Numba said in Lusaka yesterday.
Last year, Zanaco beat Nkana 2-0 in Lusaka but the Kitwe giants won 4-2 at home.
Zanaco, lining up Felix Nyaende, Saith Sakala, Augustine Mulenga, Adamson Mulao, Ziyo Tembo and Richard Kasonde, on paper are favourites to collect maximum points.
Mulao grabbed a double in the 2-0 win over Rangers in Chingola on Wednesday.
A win for Zanaco will be a morale-booster for next Wednesday’s CAF Champions League group stage match against Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca in Lusaka.
But Nkana thumped Zanaco 3-0 in the Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu Charity Shield semi-finals in Kitwe on March 30 and will target getting a double today.
Walter Bwalya, Ronald Kampamba and Joseph Musonda, who were all on target on March 30 at Arthur Davies Stadium, are expected to make the line-up again.
“I think it will be interesting knowing the way Zanaco are performing. Zanaco is a big team, we played them in the Charity Shield but this is a different ball game. We need to get a positive result but it will be tough,” Nkana coach Zeddy Saileti said.
Apart from Walter and Kampamba, Saileti has live ammunition in Ronald Chibwe, Simon Bwalya, Jacob Ngulube and Donashano Malama.
LUMWANA v RANGERS
Lumwana will be looking forward to maintaining their unbeaten run when Rangers visit.
Lumwana have managed four wins and two draws and do not look like a team that could lose to Rangers.
The North-Western Province outfit beat Rangers 1-0 on September 24, 2017 at home but lost by a similar margin in Chingola.
But Rangers could cause an upset if underrated.
Fourth from bottom, Rangers have five points.
POWER v EAGLES
Power Dynamos desperately need a win to reignite their title challenge and ease pressure on coach Dan Kabwe.
Last Saturday, Kabwe survived a beating from Power fans after a 1-1 draw with Red Arrows in Lusaka.
Power, boasting of Fwayo Tembo, Kennedy Mudenda, Kelvin Mubanga and Luka Lungu, need to up their game to overcome an Eagles side smarting from a 2-0 defeat to Lusaka Dynamos.
Last season, Eagles overcame Power 1-0 in Choma but lost the reverse fixture by a similar scoreline.
Elsewhere, Lusaka Dynamos face Mufulira Wanderers at National Heroes Stadium, Buildcon take on Forest Rangers in Ndola, Real Nakonde tackle Nakambala Leopards and Kabwe Warriors entertain Konkola Blades.
In a double header at Edwin Imboela Stadium in Lusaka tomorrow, Napsa Stars face Green Buffaloes in a lunch time kick-off while Nkwazi and Red Arrows square it off in a defence force affair at 15:00 hours.