Can Mwengani force his way into the back four?
Zambia take on Uganda on Sunday at 21h30 at Stade de Marrakech in a Group B opener in the Morocco 2018 CHAN tournament.
The ZamFoot Crew takes a look at some of the key decisions Chipolopolo Boys coach is set to make going into the tournament.
Is Mwengeni the new Sichone?
Nkana centre back John Mwengeni is slowly forcing his way into the Chipolopolo XI and after watching him closely as the team prepared for the tournament in Lusaka, the former Forest Rangers defender could be one the breakout stars this year.
Unplucked from Lusaka’s Chunga/Matero township, the 24 year old is going into the tournament as Zambia’s fourth choice centre back behind Isaac Shamujompa, Ziyo Tembo and Adrian Chama.
While captain Ziyo Tembo is expected to start, there’s still uncertainty as to who will partner the Zanaco defender in central defence.
Before the team went to Mongu, one would have thought Buildcon’s Shamujompa was the heir to Stopilla Sunzu’s throne.
But that changed after Wada Wada gave Green Buffaloes’ Chama a starting berth alongside Ziyo in a friendly against Orlando Pirates in a friendly match.
Chama could have been main fixture by now in the Chipolopolo XI having won his debut in June 2014 in the friendly game against Japan in the USA but the he has failed to take his chances.
Is it the time for the humble, calm and elagant Chama to come out that shadow of that dreadful performance against Nigeria at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium
As for Shamujompa, is he struggling with match fitness having just featured in less than 5 games for Power Dynamos in the last 6 months. Shamujompa opted to just train after news broke out that he had joined Buildcon last October at the expense of game time at Arthur Davies Stadium.
There are some who claim that he has a similar playing style with the new FAZ Technical Director Moses Sichone but in terms of being a clone, its that boy from Wusakakile.
Despite being the only defender yet to win his full cap, should he stay grounded, Mwengeni might end the year as one of the main cogs in that backline.
He is aggressive, calm on the ball, and has the aerial threat, the defender has all the attributes to become the mainstay of the Chipolopolo defence.
The other members of the back five pick themselves with Toaster Nsabata in goal while Zesco United duo Fackson Kapumbu and Simon Silwimba as left and right full backs.
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