Friday, April 12, 2024

Janza’s Chosen One2Eleven

Zambia open it’s 2015 African Cup of Nations against northern neighbours DR Congo on Sunday while the two other sides Tunisia and Cape Verde will square off in other match.

Going into the tournament, no one is giving the boys from Lusaka chance similar to the 2012 though the difference with the class ’12 is that, the Herve Renard coached side was ready and ripe with backbone of the team having been together since 2005 while the current side is work in progress.

While most Chipolopolo faithful don’t want to give the players the responsibility and burden of coming home with trophy, they want atleast the boys to qualify to the quarter finals.

With that background, takes a look at coach Honour Janza’s probably chosen eleven.

Kennedy Mweene – He is one of the untouchables in the team. This is will be his 6th AFCON appearance after making his debut at the 2006 edition though he was second choice to George Kolala and only played in the last group game against South Africa.

Trivia: The Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper made his competitive debut for Zambia in that region in a World Cup qualifier against Congo Brazaville. Remember Collins Mbesuma’s hatrick.

Davies Nkausu – Ba ‘Rio’ is a solid defender but he is just coming from a knee injury. He hasn’t been getting game time at his club Bloemfontein Celtic. This is his third AFCON appearance.

He will start the first game against DR Congo because Janza’s first choice right back Donashamo Malama is suspended and given that he will be marking the Leopards danger man Yanick Bolaise of Crystal Palace, then he has to be on top of his game.

Trivia: Nkausu was scouted by a South African based Manchester United scout in 2003 and went to Manchester with Dominic Yobe.

Emmanuel Mbola – Despite Zambia just reaching the last 8, Mbola was voted into the best 23 of the tournament at AFCON 2010 and he hasn’t just replicated that form. He has showed flashes but he needs to come to the party now as he is one of the senior players in the team.

On the pitch, Mbola, Emmanuel Mayuka and Given Singuluma are the only natural leaders and these are the players who can drag and encourage their teammates.

Third AFCON appearance after missing the 2012 AFCON. Played two games at 2013 AFCON.

Trivia: Mbola and Chisamba never knew each other [in Zambia] prior to the players linking up in Eastern Europe. Played with Borusia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan in Pyunik Yerevan of Armenia in 2009 and Ghana’s Christian Atsu at FC Porto in the youth team while James Rodriguez was breaking into the main Porto team

Expect one or two changes
Expect one or two changes

Kondwani Mtonga – Back at Zesco United after his contract in India ended, the 30 year old is vital in the team. He is needed in two positions [Defence and Midfield] and that shows how important he is to the team.

First AFCON appearance for the Kafue native.

Stopilla Sunzu – Ever since his usual sidekick Hichani Himoonde was dropped, the 25 year old hasn’t been the same. Zambians will be hoping the towering defender is back to his old form which made considered one of the best defenders on the continent.

This is his 4th AFCON appearance.

Trivia: His elder brother Felix was the last minute inclusion and replacement for Collins Mbesuma at the 2008 AFCON. His young brother Ngosa is receiving rave views in the under-17 and could be the next big thing.

His other brother is a striker for Konkola Baldes

His father  Felix Sunzu Snr is a former Konkola Blades goalkeeper and Given Singuluma played and claims to have scored against him.

Nathan Sinkala – Another untouchable and Zambia’s tournament rests on this man. As it’s been highlighted, a team which will man mark him will stop Zambia.

Had little game time at Grasshoppers in Switzerland. He is still a TP Mazembe player.

Third AFCON appearance

Trivia: His elder brother Andrew ‘The General’ Sinkala is a former Zambia international but had he been drafted into the Chipolopolo side earlier they could have played together.

Lubambo Musonda – The 19 year old is one of Zambia’s symbol of present and future. The explosive winger is more direct than most of the wingers Zambia has had in recent time.

Should Zambia go far in the tournament, Lubambo will have a major say.

First AFCON Appearance.

Trivia: Second Zambian player to start his European career in Armenia after Mbola.

Given Singuluma – He is slowly earning the tag of Mr Reliable. Singuluma was arguably Zambia’s best player in the qualifiers. He is likely to occupy the Isaac Chansa role in Equatorial Guinea though many would love him to be pushed a bit further in the hole.

Second AFCON appearance after he missed out on the 2012 and 2013 edition as he refused to be a benchwarmer

Trivia: Singuluma won the 2009 CHAN golden boot but this time he will be operating in midfield.

Chisamba Lungu – It’s about fulfilling his potential at this tournament. One thing is that he is not Honour Janza’s favourite players and don’t be shocked if he starts on the bench.

With a bit of confidence from the coach, he could end up being Zambia’s vital players.

Trivia: One of the three players who hail from Kafue in the team. Others are Kondwani and Jackson Mwanza.

Know your players
Know your players

Rainford Kalaba – Sixth AFCON appearance for ba Mupashi. Hope the armband will motivate him more.

Even when the team is down, there’s always hope that Kalaba will produce a magical moment.

Trivia: Kalaba is the only player from Mufulira on the team. Chris and Felix Katongo are also from Mufulira.

Emmanuel Mayuka – On paper, Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba or Evans Kangwa should start but Janza is likely to resist the temptation and go with the England based.

Though he was level on goals with Didier Drogba and Chris Katongo on 3 goals in 2012 he was given the golden boot.

This will be his fifth AFCON appearance.

Notable Players:

Sate Sate – He is likely to start one of the games at the tournament.

Bruce Musakanya – The Red Arrows youngster will feature at some point.



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  1. Mayuka wasnt given the Golden boot, he earned it after a criteria was applied such as goals per minute! Give credit where credit is due! However I do feel Bruce Musakanya will prove to be one of the worst players at the tournament if he is given game time! Bruce cant defend as is very limited in attack, his selection is even more mind boggling than Chamangas! An unfit Fwayo Tembo offers more than Bruce Musakanya!

  2. If zambia performs badly in this tornament the can kiss the 2018 world cup goodbye, poor ranking= no seeding, no seeding = no Sudan,Lesotho, Djibuti and other Zambian mates.

    • @Jay, DRC is useless even with those useless names of players you’re giving.
      Zambia has played better teams before than DRC. You can not compare Bolasie to Yaya Toure or Drogba of Cote d’ivoire; You cannot compare Mbokani or Bolasie to the quality of Gyani, Kwadwo Asamoah, etc of Ghana. You cannot compare Bolasie to Ndole, Cisse, etc of Senegal; You cannot compare DRC to the quality of Japan. These are the teams Zambia has beaten before such as Cote d’voire, Ghana, Senegal. Zambia also put up a very good fight against Japan last and we fought it hard against Brazil. I am just telling what Zambia can do. So DRC, be braced for a serious hiding tonight.

  3. Drc is missing tresor mputu. Have they found a replacement for mputu. As far as I’m concerned DRC is not that tough. Last time they failed to beat Niger and went out in round 1. Tresor mputu is drc’s greatest player of the last 10 years. Zambia can beat this DRC my concern is the lack of strength in depth. Felix katongo and Rodgers kola should have been called. The young boy ngoma should never have been selected.

  4. Zambia and cape Verde will qualify from this group. Tunisia is weak without their main strikers. DRC will be beaten by cape Verde

  5. @ Billy, me i am doubting because there no leadership creativity in the team we should have felix,jacob and fwayo like john said.But will see anything can happen.

    • Zambia does not play names. They may have players, but we have a team. Teamwork is better than individual work.
      Zambia will carry the day.

  6. zambia will win against congo with after a stellar performance and all those bloggers who felt we should have stuck with the old guard will finally and quietly part take of the provabial humble pie that the chipolopolo team has prepared for them. Bon appetite.

  7. zambia will qualify this is a strong team we have assembled here criticts prepare to partake of the provabial humble pie bon appetite.

  8. Forget about the buts,the should havr bren..Its D-Day Gents.All we can do is cheer our boys.I am sure theu are eager to perform.About last nights,Game,Gabon vs Burkina Faso,One lesson learnt was victory is for the team that takes their chances.I hope our Strike force will rise to the occassion

  9. Zambia will have an edge in todays match, Looking at the two teams, DRC are a good side and will try to stretch our defense, Sunzu, Mtonga ,mbola and Nkausu will be busy to stop the likes of Bolaise, we have the capacity, our midfield should stop them from playing don’t give them chance on the ball. If only we could close them quickly and win the middle of the park and the likes of Lubambo Musonda, Chisamba , Sinkala and Kalaba should come to the party will see Zambia pulling their defense to make it easy for Mayuka and Given Singuluma to finish. Ba Kasai are gud in the middle of the park but luck that depth to beat our fall back. Chipolopolo will carry the day. Zambia 3-1 Ba Kasai.

  10. Efwe ni Chipolopolo fever whether the team is weak or not, whether it is Janza who is coaching or its mourinhou or Renard its CHipolopolo chabe. Lets go Zambia Lets go. Puteni ichimwela tebolafye. Wishing the Chipolopolo boys a 3 nil Bashing of DRC. My prediction for the scorers, Mayuka 1, sate sate 1, and Singuluma 1 as well.

  11. Mayuka should not start this game if Zambia wants to win this one. We need a partinership of Evans Kangwa and Rolnad Kampamba who are proven goal scores. Mayuka is finished and obviuosly has not score any goal for the past 24 months.

  12. Pace will be the key to win this game against Congo. Congo are slow and strong. A quick goal will disrupt their plan and will make them panic.Who ever score first will carry the day.Otherwise the game will be boring as no team will want to concede.The line up is the best We have there.Hope Mayuka will shine and for me its like its a second chance for him to prove his worth to his coach in England.

  13. The team that Zamfoot has laid out is the team that I would also lay out. I would, however, make some changes to Zamfoot’s 4-3-3 formation. I would employ a 4-2-3-1 formation by having two defensive midfielders, but with one of the defensive midfielders having creative abilities. A lot of zambian fans have overlooked or undervalued the contribution that Isaac Chansa made to the triumphant team in 2012. One just needs to watch the final against Cote D’Ivoire to see that Chansa was the link that connected our defence to attack. He performed defensive duties alongside Nathan Sinkala, but he’s the one that was feeding Mayuka, Kalaba and Katongo in attack. Right now there’s a huge gap between defence and attack. Nathan Sinkala is good at dispossessing the opposition, his ball control is excellent, he’s comfortable in possession and doesn’t waste the ball,is good at set pieces in the opposition 18 yard area, but one thing that he does not possess is the long pass which is crucial in linking the midfield to attack. Chansa had the ability to chip or lob the ball over defences to the strikers, he had the ability to make flicks and most importantly had the long pass and could drive from the defensive midfield position to the advanced midfield position. This is what was lacking in the qualifiers and our strikers inability to score goals can be attributed to his absence because they are not being fed the right type of balls. I would personally gamble on Singuluma taking on the Chansa role deep in midfield because he’s also comfortable in possession, has good ball control, is a good passer and also has the ability to run with the ball. We need a person who can run with the ball in the midfield which is what we’re currently lacking. Kalaba needs to play in the middle between Chisamba and Lubambo in the centre of midfield. Mayuka can be a lone Striker supported by the runs of Lubambo and Kalaba.

  14. You are spot on PAPA our team is missing Isaac Chansa he was the engine in the midfield for Zambia at 2012 AFCON, he liked the defence with the attack. He could cover Sinkala when challenging for the ball and when sinkala gets the ball Isaac will quickly get it and supply it fast to the attacker that combination out played the Yaya Toure, Tiote, Zokola, S Munthali etc of this world.

    But in this team I don’t see Isaac’s replacement, playing Singulima in this position has not worked for Zambia from my own observation he so attack minded that he forgets defensive duties that that position requires he leave a lot of room exposing Sinkala as a result. So if we are to do well at this AFCON we have to work on this position that’s why I am for the idea of using a system that can suit the present situation 4:2:3:1 to put one more player in the defensive low that will help Sinkala and give him cover when marking opponents. I was for the idea of playing him with Kondwani but we also need him to partner Sunzu at the back, at this point I even miss Nyambe. And on Mayuka the coach must not to to much time in replacing him if he can’t fire.

    Using 4:2:3:1 my prefered line up can be as follows

    Kennedy Mweene

    Davis Nkausu
    Emanuel Mbola
    Stophila Sunzu
    ??????? ??????

    Nathan Sinkala
    Kondwani M’tonga

    Chisamba Lungu
    Given Singulima
    Rainford Kalaba

    Emmanuel Mayuka

  15. sate sate has played the congolese before with his team nkana beating tp mazembe.singuluma and kajaba knows the congolese soft spot.kangwa is a good jaggler ,who should start.our aim should be to score in the first half,the after that mayuka can come in as super sub.playing evans and sate is the best formula we have as their total goals for zambia above ten(10).

  16. Goodluck to the chipolopolo don’t disappoint us tho we don’t xpect much 4rm u. Prove us wrong by defying the odds. #PACHIPAPISHO

  17. I took sometime to watch Congo DR vs Ivory Coast, I can safely say that Congo are really good when it comes to counter-attack but there weakest link is the defense. Any team in the world with a weakest defense cannot go far in a big tournament like AFCON. I predicted a draw or a win against Congo and that still stands. I am proposing to the coach to go with a our old time kind of formation or traditional 4-4-2, Nkausu,Mbola,Mtonga,and Sunzu completes back four. In the midle and wing of the park Sinkala,Kalaba,Singuluma and Lubambo.The front-line should Sate Sate and Evans Kangwa. On the Bench we need to have Munyau,Mayuka,Mukuka,J.Mwanza,R.Kabwe. This will make any team on there way fall. Why Mayuka on bench , I guess he is a super sub like in Ghana vs Zambia game that has made our brothers from west to hate Zambia reaching to an extent to deny us to host AFCON 2017 or 2019. All the way Chipolopolo by the way if you see a car in town dressed Chipolopolo colors on a bonnet that is me that if you are LSK.

  18. @Kez Kez, I totally agree with you. Perhaps we don’t have Chansa’s replacement. The best we can do is to simply have cover for Sinkala instead of leaving him exposed the way he was exposed during the qualifiers. Singuluma is more attack minded. Then we might as well use Donashano Malama at centre back to partner Sunzu if Mtonga plays as a defensive midfielder because there’s no other defender available. Alternatively, Nkausu could partner Sunzu and kabwe plays as a wingback. I really wouldn”t want to have Malama in the team.

  19. Yaba BaZamfoot have just changed the OS from Win7 to Win10 the browser remains the same and I dont a point why my comments should await moderation . By the way is the line up out?

  20. Let’s hope for the best but looking at both teams on paper, the best result we can get is a draw! Munthali should not even be on the bench against these speedy neighbours!

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