Zambia set for ‘Cosafa Derby’ in North Africa
Zambia and Namibia are set to renew their rivalry on Monday night in a top of the table clash in CHAN 2018 Group B tie at Casablanca’s King Mohammad V Stadium to decide the group winners.
In Marrackech, Ivory Coast will take on Uganda in the other Group B game.
With both Zambia and Namibia level on 6 points, there has been questions whether the respective coaches will give a run to fringe players though it looks straight forward that Ricardo Manetti will tinker.
The trio Charles Hambira, Ferdinard Karongee, Riaan Hanamub are all suspended after they accumulated two yellows while Hendrick Somaeb is out injured.
In the Zambia camp, the quartet Ziyo Tembo, Simon Silwimba, Friday Samu and the live wire Lazarous Kambole are a booking away from suspension.
Striker Alex Ng’onga is still struggling with a groin injury.
Will Wedson Nyirenda want to be cautious and reserve his star men or go with momentum?
Should he decide to go with strong starting line up, then the evergreen Ziyo marshal the back four alongside Adrian Chama in central defence with Silwimba and Fackson Kapumpu at right and left full back respectively.
The explosive Augustine Mulenga will be joined on the flanks by his best friend Ernest Mbewe and hoping to add cause havoc.
The red hot Mulenga has been one of the standout players of the tournament with three goals while Mbewe is slowly becoming the assist king.
In case, Nyirenda is opting to rest Mulenga, then Mike Katiba, who played as a false no.9 when he came off the bench against Ivory might start on the flank.
A base midfield of Donashamo Malama and Kondwani Mtonga looks likely to continue though there’s a possibility of resting the latter for Jack Chirwa.
Save for the first half against Uganda, Donashamo has been the more defensive because he has the stamina to recover and make interceptions but should Chirwa get the nod then he might change his role to box to box.
Thanks to his reversibility, Donashamo might revert to right back as Chirwa and Mtonga form a midfield base.
Upfront, Nyirenda might go for a lone striker with Friday Samu leading the line with Larry Bwalya in the hole, as the impressive Kambole might be rested.
A draw will be enough to earn Zambia top slot and a date against Sudan while Namibia will face Morocco but should Namibia earn their fourth victory over their neighbours on 17th attempt, then the Copper Bullets will not go back to Marrakech.
Zambia Probable XI: Nsabata – Silwimba, Tembo, Chama, Kapumbu – Mbewe, Malama, Mtonga, Mulenga – Kambole, Samu
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