The Chipolopolo Boys will this afternoon face off with Mali in the first of two international friendly matches planned for this FIFA window.
With Aljosa Asanovic absent, Assistant coach Moses Sichone will take charge of the team this evening.
While the Eagles have all their stars like Yves Bissouma, RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara, Mousa Djenepo, Sékou Koita, and Daddier Semassekou, Sichone will be without several key players due to different reasons.
Patson Daka, Enock Mwepu, Lameck Banda, Lubambo Musonda, Clatous Chota Chama, and Toaster Nsabata are all out of today’s match.
This is the second time Sichone is taking charge of the team in less than three months.
The former Nchanga Rangers man was also in charge of the team when the Chipolopolo Boys edged the Zebras of Botswana 5-4 on post-match penalties after a 1-1 draw at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban in a 2022 COSAFA Championship quarter-final tie.
Aljosa Asanovic and his European assistant coaches could not be with the team during that game due to VISA hitches.
Red Arrows’ Charles Kalumba and Lawrence Mulenga will battle for a place between the sticks in the absence of the injured Toaster Nsabata.
Benedict Chepeshi, Rodrick Kabwe, Frankie Chisenga Musonda, and Tandi Mwape are expected to make up the back four.
Allan Kapila and Dominic Chanda could easily displace anyone in the central pairing with Shemmy Mayembe and Luka Chamanga also available for selection.
In midfield, BSC Young Boys’ Miguel Chaiwa could start in the holding role with Klings Kangwa and Emmanuel Banda partnering him in a midfield triad.
Edward Chilufya, Fashion Sakala Jnr, and Evans Kangwa could lead the line. Ricky Banda, Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba, and Joshua Mutale will also throw their names in the mix for selection.
Zambia and the Eagles of Mali will square off on Friday at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako at 19:00 hours GMT (21H00 CAT).
Zambia will again play Mali on Monday, September 26th in the second A grade FIFA international friendly match.
The Chipolopolo are using the matches as part of the preparation for the Ivory Coast 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that will take place next year in March.