VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA must beat Namibia today to avoid elimination from the 2016 Rwanda African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying race when they clash in the first round return leg at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
Smarting from the 2-1 loss in Windhoek on June 21, Zambia have no choice but to clinch a win.
A 1-0 victory will be enough for George Lwandaminaâ€™s men to progress to the last round while Namibia need a goalless draw to book a date with Mozambique or Seychelles in the last round.
Mozambique thumped Seychelles 5-0 in the first leg.
Eventual winners Namibia edged Zambia 5-4 on penalties in the quarter-finals at the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations Senior Challenge Cup in South Africa on May 24.
â€œWe cannot lose to Namibia for the third time. We will not sit and watch them beat us. That is why we are attaching great importance to the game. We will do everything possible to ensure we beat Namibia and qualify to the next round,â€ Lwandamina said.
Lwandamina, however, will miss stand-in skipper Kondwani Mtonga, Allan Mukuka, Jimmy Ndhlovu, Justin Zulu, Shadreck Malambo and Boyd Mkandawire due to injuries.
The Chipolopolo, however, have been boosted by the recovering from injury of defender Christopher Munthali.
Festus Mbewe will partner Winston Kalengo upfront while Moses Phiri, Patson Daka and Patrick Ngoma are the other options for goals.
Kalengo scored the vital away goal in Windhoek and will be looking forward to leading the Chipolopolo to victory on home turf.
Buchizya Mfune will replace Mtonga in the holding midfield role while Jackson Mwanza will operate on the right wing with Paul Katema playing behind the two strikers.
Mufulira Wanderersâ€™ Jacob Ngulube will be on the left flank in a 4:4:2 formation.
Benedict Chepeshi, Joseph Zimba, Kayawe Kapota and Christopher Munthali will form the rearguard shielding goalkeeper Daniel Munyao.
On the other hand, the Brave Warriors will miss influential midfielder Awillo Stephanus and injured Neville Tjiueza and Sadney Urikhob.
Stephanus, who contributed a goal in Windhoek, is attending trials at Bangkok Glass FC in Thailand.
â€œWe might have one or two injuries but that is not an issue. All the players are ready. They know what we are here for. Any mistake will be regrettable,â€ Namibia coach Ronny Kananelo said.
He will rely on Benjamin Nenkavu for victory.
Nenkavu was the scorer of the other goal in Windhoek.
Zambiaâ€™s last appearance at the CHAN finals was in 2009 in Ivory Coast, where the then Herve Renard-tutored side were bronze winners.
VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka