ZANACO and Zesco United today begin their respective journeys in the CAF interclub competition group stages with Egyptian opponents.
Zanaco face Africa’s most successful in the CAF Champions League Al Ahly in Cairo while Zesco host another Egyptian side Smouha in the Confederation Cup at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
While Zesco’s game is in the afternoon, Zanaco meets Ahly at 19: 30 hours as is usually the case in Egypt.
Zesco’s new coach Zlatko Krmpotic will be hoping to go a step further in the continental second tier competition to surpass his predecessor George Lwandamina’s record of a semi-final berth in the CAF Champions League last year.
Zanaco coach Mumamba Numba will be looking to make history to become the first bankers’ tactician to progress beyond the group stages, having been the first to reach the lucrative stage of the CAF Champions League even though Wedson Nyirenda reached the mini-league stage of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2010.
“Going outside the country with a win will really motivate the boys to work hard in Egypt,” Numba declared after his side beat Nakambala Leopards in a league game last week.
“The boys are ready for the challenge we are going there with a positive attitude knowing well what is stake.”
Numba’s team has been boosted by the fact that striker Felix Nyaende and five others, who joined the team after first registration had been concluded with CAF, will be eligible to feature in the group stages.
Back home, Zesco who had struggled in the last three league games, would be looking to make amends and make a promising start to instill belief in their fans and sponsors that they could replicate last year’s form at continental stage.