By MOSES CHIMFWEMBE –
TITLE chasing Zanaco have a chance to open up a six-point-lead at the summit of the MTN-FAZ Premier League table when they guest stubborn Napsa Stars in what promises to be an exciting Week 19 fixture.
With second-placed Zesco United failing to close the gap on Zanaco following their midweek 2-all draw against Green Buffaloes, the bankers have a chance to extend their lead but will need to be at their best to overcome a Napsa side that has been playing good football of late and is fourth on the log.
It will also be a weekend that sees newly appointed Red Arrows coach Mathews Phiri and his assistant Albert Kachinga aiming to halt the airmen embarrassing eight match successive losing streak when they host spoilers Konkola Mine Police at Nkoloma Stadium.
Copperbelt fixtures involving Power Dynamos against Nchanga Rangers and Konkola Blades versus Nakambala Leopards have been pushed to tomorrow in view of Nkana’s CAF Confederation Cup encounter against Egyptian giants Al Ahly at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe today.
Napsa v Zanaco
This is a top of the bill and Lusaka derby clash sees Zanaco are on a mission to reclaim the title they surrendered to Nkana last season whereas Napsa are looking to capture their first ever league title in the club’s history.
With Ivory Coast-born midfielder Jean Semaho showing sparks in the 2-0 win against the champions Nkana last weekend, Napsa coach Hector Chilombo will be hoping Donwell Yobe and Martin Phiri to be at their best to halt the Zanaco’s surge.
A win for Napsa, who are on 32 points, will see them move up the ladder and overtake Power Dynamos who play Nchanga Rangers tomorrow. Zanaco coach Aggrey Chiyangi on the other hand, has sufficient armory to deliver with forwards Dave Daka, Matthews Macha and Rodrick Kabwe leading the attack.
Arrows v Mine Police
Phiri, no stranger to Arrows having held the position before, took over from Osward Mutapa junior who was fired after guiding the side to eight straight defeats and nine in total after 18 matches played.
Arrows have just managed to pick up 17 points from 18 matches to drop into the relegation waters on 14th place and face an equally troubled Mine Police side that is rock bottom on 13 points and recently beefed up their squad with acquisition of eight players during the transfer window.
And the Chililabombwe side would just want to maximise Arrows’ poor record at home to collect full points and boost their survival hopes.
Other matches will see rejuvenated ‘Magnificent’ Kabwe Warriors trekking down south to Choma to face Green Eagles as they seek to brighten their relegation chances while National Assembly host Indeni.