VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka
ZESCO United will be aiming at ending a five-year winless streak against Power Dynamos when the teams clash in the Samuel â€˜Zoomâ€™ Ndhlovu Charity Shield final today at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.
â€œIt will be just the same as the Nkana game because Power seem to have an advantage over us but we have a chance to challenge. That is the good side of it all.
â€œWe have a good chance to play them in the final on Saturday [today] and to prove we are worthwhile champions. It wonâ€™t be an easy game because we all want to maintain the momentum,â€ Zesco coach George Lwandamina said.
Both teams will use the match to prepare for next weekendâ€™s CAF inter club championship assignments.
Zesco host AS Kaloum of Guinea in the CAF Champions League first round first leg next Saturday while Power are away to Gabonese outfit CF Mounana in the Confederation Cup next .
Zescoâ€™s last victory over Power was in 2010.
The Ndola side beat Power 2-0 in the Barclays Cup semi-finals at Kitweâ€™s Arthur Davies Stadium with Kondwani Mtonga and Clifford Chipalo contributing a goal apiece.
Zesco also beat Power 1-0 in a league match in 2010.
Last season, Zesco and Power settled for a goalless draw in Ndola but Power won the reverse fixture 3-1, however, Lwandaminaâ€™s team went on to be crowned champions.
Buoyed by last weekendâ€™s continental victories both teams will fancy their chances of bagging the first silverware of the season.
Zesco beat Swazilandâ€™s Mbabane Swallows 1-0 to advance to the first round 2-1 on aggregate while Power edged Al Khartoum of Sudan 2-0 to cruise 2-1 over two legs.
Lwandamina will rely on last seasonâ€™s top scorer Jackson Mwanza, Winstone Kalengo, Justin Zulu and Lazarous Kambole to silence Power.
Jonas Sakuwaha and Humphrey Maseneko might be introduced as the game progresses.
The battle for supremacy will be in midfield where Zescoâ€™s Cletus Chama, John Chingâ€™andu, Misheck Chaila and Zulu will be up against Powerâ€™s Richard Kasonde, Julius Situmbeko, Kennedy Mudenda and skipper Thomas Nyirenda,
Power will look to Alex Ngâ€™onga and Jimmy Ndhlovu to continue with their dominance over Zesco.
Having scored a brace in a 2-0 victory over Al Khartoum, Ngâ€™onga will be eager to replicate the same form.
But Ngâ€™onga and company need to be at their best to go past the Emmanuel Mathias-marshalled defence and subsequently put the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jacob Banda.
â€œWe beat them [Zesco] last season but that is the past. This is totally a different ball game. We are ready for the battle. It will be tough because both teams are looking to claim the first silverware,â€ Power assistant coach Anderson Phiri said.
To get to the final, Zesco beat Nkana 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time while Power edged Zanaco 1-0.
Power have won the Charity Shield five times – 1998, 2004, 2009, 2012 and 2013 while Zesco were kings in 2007 and 2011.
VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka