By ELIAS CHIPEPO –
HONOUR Janza today faces his first test following his appointment as Chipolopolo coach when he assembles a squad to take on Sudan in the first match to be played at the newly built Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka.
Despite this game been just a friendly, a lot would be at stake as fans will be expecting a lot and also want to see what system Janza will employ especially that the Chipolopolo kick-start their Morocco 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers this weekend against Mozambique.
The Chipolopolo have a tight AFCON qualifying fixture that will see taking them on Cape Verde on Wednesday.
Though bulk of the team comprises locally based players, Janza has been boosted by the arrival of the TP Mazembe quartet of Rainford Kalaba, Given Singuluma, Jonas Sakuwaha and Kabaso Chongo while midfielder Mukuka Mulenga was expected last night.
Janza has demanded a good performance from his side, especially that this will be the first match to be played at the 60,000-seater stadium. A win will boost the team’s confidence heading into the qualifiers.
Today’s meeting will be the two sides’ 21st clash with Sudan having a slight edge over the Chipolopolo and many would remember that 1-all draw at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium during the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
The Chipolopolo, who lost 2-1 in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup quarter-final last year in December, have managed nine wins, drawn four and suffered seven defeats.
Janza has urged his players to take the game against Sudan seriously but would not want to use the result and performance as a benchmark ahead of the qualifiers.
“There is need for the players to be ready and focused to get the win over Sudan, and there is also need to protect their image and risk not losing at home especially that this is our first game.
“As I have always said, the team is airborne meaning they have come a long way playing the likes of Brazil and Japan and all this is to focus on the AFCON qualifiers and the Sudan game is one of the series,” Janza said.
Janza will make the tough call as to who starts in goal between Joshua Titima and Toaster Nasabata with long-term absentee Danny Manyau in contention after recovering from an injury.
Recalled Nyambe Mulenga, Christopher Munthali are candidates to partner at the back with Kabaso Chongo and Rodrick Kabwe likely to be picked to start to provide that necessary cover at the back.
Midfield genius Kalaba should team up with the likes of Bruce Musakanya, Simon Bwalya and Richard Kasonde with Fwayo Tembo likely to start on the wing together with Sakuwaha while Singuluma may be given his first start upfront with Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba, Winston Kalengo the other options.