By NDINAWE SIMPELWE –
ZANACO coach Numba Mumamba expects a tough game against MTN-FAZ Super League leaders Zesco United as both teams battle for league supremacy.
Sunset stadium braces for a record number of fans when it hosts a double header that will also see record title holders Nkana out to pile more misery on winless Napsa Stars.
Other Week Eight fixtures set to be played around the country today would see joint leaders Power Dynamos visit Lumwana Radiants while Green Buffaloes welcome Forest Rangers.
Kitwe United have a tricky home tie against unpredictable Green Eagles, New Monze Swallows host National Assembly while Lusaka Dynamos look to inflict more despair on Kabwe Youth Academy and the ever improving Kabwe Warriors face Buildcon.
Zanaco v Zesco United
WITH the rest of the country commemorating the 25 years of the Gabon Air crash that killed the entire Zambian national team, this fixture is more befitting to the fans as it brings together two teams that have made huge strides and have been the face of Zambian football abroad.
Zesco has fought its way to the top of the league table but face a daunting challenge to remain there as their hosts are also determined to climb the ladder.
With two games in hand, Zanaco will be doing themselves a big favour by winning this tie which will push them level on points with Zesco on 16 but Numba said he expected a tough game though his charges were ready for the encounter.
“We have always come to the party every time we play Zesco. It will be an exciting game to play them,” Numba said.
However, it is not yet clear if returning coach George Lwandamina has been cleared to take charge of Zesco but interim coach Emmanuel Siwale would lead the team at Sunset and will look to in-form striker Lazarous Kambole for inspiration.
Napsa v Nkana
THIS will be the early kick-off at Sunset Stadium with 18th placed Napsa desperate for points as they are yet to win a match this season.
They face a Nkana side that started the season poorly but have been improving steadily but their two defeats and one draw in six matches speak volumes of how inconsistent Beston Chambeshi’s side has been.
In the previous 12 meetings since 2012, this tie remains evenly balanced with either side picking five wins but Nkana has not lost to their hosts since 2015 winning three of the last for encounters.
On paper Nkana possess a lethal frontline of Walter Bwalya, Idriss Mbombo, Ronald Kampamba and Festus Mbewe but they are yet to make any impact as Chambeshi is struggling to find the right combination for his talented strikers.
Buffaloes v Forest
BUFFALOES erased any doubt from the fans who thought last season’s performance was a fluke as the soldiers keep producing results.
Their last weekend defeat against Lusaka Dynamos will prove to be a minor setback as Bilton Musonda’s side is expected to return to winning ways against Forest Rangers.
Buffaloes are joint leaders with Zesco and Power Dynamos making this fixture important for them to remain at the summit should other results go their way though must be wary of the threat Forest pose.
Lumwana v Power
POWER repositioned themselves this season and look set to challenge for the title, though it may be too early to tell, it is evident that coach Kelvin Kaindu has reignited the belief in the team’s faithful and would expect nothing other than a win over Lumwana.
Lumwana coach Zeddy Saileti knows he needs to change things before talks of replacing him start making the rounds and he has a big chance to win the club executive’s confidence by beating Power today.
Kitwe v Eagles
KITWE United are enjoying their return to the Super Division and should be pleased with themselves as they occupy seventh position after seven matches on 11 points.
As they host 10th placed Eagles, Kitwe would be fired up for a victory knowing there is a chance to climb into the top four if other results favour them.
Warriors v Buildcon
THIS tie brings together two teams that have new coaches at the helm and have been tasked to stabilise the results in view of chasing a top four finish that would enable them to play continental championship next year.
While it is going well for Tenant Chilumba at Warriors, the same cannot be said for Tenant Chembo at 16th placed Buildcon where he is battling to come up with a consistent line up that would guarantee him positive results.
With the abundance of talent at his disposal, the sponsors would be eager to see results turn Buildcon into a title contender but Chembo needs to pick up results when it matters most.
Elsewhere, Nakambala Leopards host Nchanga Rangers looking to use their 100 per cent record at home this season, while struggling newcomers New Monze Swallows search for their first maximum points against a rejuvenated National Assembly.
Kabwe Youth Academy would be out to look for their first win against Lusaka Dynamos.