ZESCO United’s quest for a 2016 CAF Champions League maiden title comes under severe test this afternoon when they take on Ivorian soccer giants Asec Mimosa at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Smarting from a 2-0 loss to Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, bruised Zesco will fight for a win to move up on the table in Group A.
Zesco and Asec Mimosa both have three points, but the Ivorian side enjoys second position on a better goal aggregate. Casablanca leads the group on six points while Egyptian giants Al Ahly are bottom without a point.
Asec Mimosa coach Traore Siaka said on arrival this week he was expecting a tough match but said his charges would put in their best to collect three points on Zambian soil.
“I have watched Zesco play at their home ground and hence the boys are geared for a tough match. We will not take any chances,” he said.
But Zesco coach George Lwandamina said his boys were ready for the challenge and were prepared for nothing less than victory.
“Zesco have a reputation to build on and hence makes Saturday’s match a tough one. We are aware of what Asec can do and will not in any way underrate the West Africans,” he said.
Clatous Chama, who scored a brace against Al Ahly at Levy Mwanawasa, is available for the Zambian league champions together with MTN/FAZ Super Division leading top scorer Jesse Were and Jackson Mwanza.
However, striker Idriss Mbombo may miss today’s game as he is still recovering from a back injury while first choice goalkeeper Jacob Banda has just started practicing after a two-month lay-off due to illness. Zesco should be wary of Yannick Zakri and Armand Nianke who gave Asec the 2-1 victory over Al Ahly last month.
Zesco squad has goal keepers Brown Nyirenda, Lameck Nyangu and Samson Banda.
Defenders: Shemmy Mayembe, Dauti Musekwa, Ayo Oluwafemi, Lottie Bwalya, David Owino Odhiambo, Ben Adama Banh, Bernard Mapili, Emmanuel Mayuka, Kondwani Mtonga.
Midfielders: Misheck Chaila, Anthony Akumu Agay, Kasashi Lupiya, John Chingandu, Maybin Mwaba, Mwape Mwelwa, Matthews Nkowane, Clatous Chota, Mwila Phiri.
Strikers: Idris Mbombo, Lazarous Kambole, Jackson Mwanza and Jesse Were.