Friday, June 21, 2024

Who will join Zesco, Buffaloes in the Barclays Cup?

The MTN FAZ Super League reaches its midpoint this weekend, with matches to be played from Friday through Sunday and at stake are six places in the qualification for the Barclays Cup.

The top six teams as at week nineteen qualify directly to the quarter-finals and as things stand, Zesco United and Green Buffaloes have already secured qualification ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.

Based on the latest league standings, holders Zanaco, Nkana, Power Dynamos, Kabwe Warriors, Green Eagles, Nkwazi, Buildcon and dark horses Lusaka Dynamos will battle it out for the four remaining spots.

If the qualification process for the only cup competition organised by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) is maintained this year, the six qualified super league teams will be joined by two lower league teams who will emerge from the preliminary round featuring mid season champions from the four Division One zonal leagues.

Focus will be on four matches – Zesco United vs Green Eagles, Nkana vs Lusaka Dynamos, Power Dynamos vs Buildcon and Zanaco vs Nkwazi – which will feature teams in the running for Barclays Cup qualification against each other.

A win for Green Eagles on Friday will move them up to third position for at least 24 hours while a draw will take them up to sixth with a game in hand.

Nkwazi will need to win by two clear goals in order to leapfrog their opponents Zanaco on goal difference while a draw could see them occupy sixth position, depending on other results.

Outsiders Buildcon will need an outright victory over Power Dynamos who have a game in hand and hope that results in matches involving Green Eagles and Nkwazi will go their way.

Zanaco have been struggling in the league

Nkana still have two fixtures on which their qualification still hinges – their reversed week one fixture with Forest Rangers and their abandoned match with Red Arrows. Positive outcomes from those two and avoiding defeat against Lusaka Dynamos this Sunday will see them qualify.

Kabwe Warriors will need victory against Kitwe United and hope that results will not go in favour of Zanaco, Nkana, Power Dynamos or Lusaka Dynamos.

Although Lusaka Dynamos are currently placed in the bottom half of the table, it is their three games in hand with Nchanga Rangers, Power Dynamos and Green Eagles which keep them in the running. They have 24 points from 15 matches and sit five places and six points behind the team in sixth position before their match with Nkana.

Power Dynamos need victories against Buildcon and Lusaka Dynamos to be assured.

The draw for the 2018 Barclays Cup is expected to be conducted in August.

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