ZESCO United will be hunting for an away win against Stade Malien of Mali when the two clash in the CAF Champions League second round, first leg match at Stade Omnisports Modibo Keita in Bamako today.
Meanwhile, Zanaco faces a tough encounter this afternoon at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium when they host Tunisian outfit Stade Gabesien in the CAF Confederation Cup second round, first leg match.
Zesco and Chopolopolo coach George Lwandamina will be hoping to keep the target of reaching the group stage alive as Zesco faces a tough test on West African soil.
Lwandamina said his boys were not under pressure despite playing away and were ready for the challenge.
“The boys are mentally ready to handle the pressure that will come with this game. Our aim is always to win, and also not to concede. They are a tough side but we are capable of handling them,” he said.
Although losing 2-0 to AC Horoya of Guniea in the first round return leg in Conkary last month, Zesco managed to qualify on a 4-3 aggregate after beating the Guineans 4-0 in Lusaka earlier.
But this time they are determined to record an away victory ahead of the return leg.
However, Zesco will be without hard working midfielder Clatous Chama who was red-carded in the game against Horoya and defender David Owino after accumulating two yellow cards.
Lwandamina has said he still has enough human resource to take up the two positions and he will therefore not panic.
The Chipolopolo coach will look up to Idriss Mbombo, Jackson Mwanza, Lazarus Kambole and Jesse Were in front to give Zesco the needed victory.
Bernard Mapili, Dauti Musekwa, Ayo Oluwafemi , Ben Banh and Simon Silwimba will shield the back from the Mali threat while the midfield will be marshalled by Misheck Chaila, Maybin Mwaba, Mwelwa Mwape, Mathews Nkowani, Anthony Agay and Kondwani Mtonga.
Lwandamina will be looking up to goalkeeper Jacob Banda to replicate his good performance over the past few months.
Meanwhile, Zanaco is targeting a 2-0 win against Gabesien who have promised to give the Zambian side a tough game at Nkoloma Stadium today.
“I believe I have a team that can give us a win, the boys are ready. We will not bank on home advantage but work hard to score at least two unanswered goals,” Zanaco coach Mumamba Numba said.
Equally, Gabesien coach Lassad Dridri said: “We expect a tough encounter from Zanaco but our target is to score two unanswered goals. This is our mission and we are determined to achieve it.”
Zanaco has goalkeepers Racha Kola and Toaster Nsabata.
Defenders Ziyo Tembo, Aaron Katebe, Peter Banda, Fackson Kapumbu, George Chilufya, Richard Kasonde and Salulani Phiri.
Midfielders are Rodrick Kabwe, Isaac Chansa, Potipher Zulu, Aubrey Funga and Charles Zulu.
Strikers include Fashion Sakala, Davy Daka, Saith Sakala and Ernest Mbewe.