DEFENDING champions Zanaco will this afternoon be hoping to continue their fine form as they battle their nemesis Nkana in a MTN/FAZ Super League week seven encounter.
Like their opponents this afternoon, the ‘bankers’ started the season slowly largely due to the surprise exodus of players that had helped the team win last year’s league title.
But Mumamba Numba’s men have recovered from the first two opening games slump to post impressive results, the latest being the 2-0 win against Nchanga Rangers in a rescheduled week six match last Wednesday which may prove costly going into this match in terms of players’ fitness since they have played three games in nine days.
The two teams first met in April in the Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu Charity Shield semi-finals, with Nkana beating Zanaco 3-0 at Arthur Davies Stadium.
The environment in the Nkana camp is rather tense with the executive having already given coach Zeddy Saileti and his assistants a three-match ultimatum, though the entire dressing room is united around their coaches.
Saileti himself says the early season ultimatum given to him will do little to deter the team’s ambition.
It will be an interesting match. Zanaco are the defending champions and they are doing so well. But we have prepared for the game as well. We know they will be playing at home but we are mentally prepared, it will be just fine,
When asked about the pressures of working with the ultimatum hovering over his head, Saileti said, “It’s nothing, that is nothing really it does not affect our game plan, we are calm about the whole thing. We are professionals and ready to work under such conditions and even this game we are not under pressure.”
This titanic clash will be a lunch time kick-off and will be followed by another very interesting match between big spending Lusaka Dynamos and winless ‘Mighty’ Mufulira Wanderers. Both matches will be broadcast on Supersport TV.
At Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, another Ndola derby has been added to the Super League calendar as Forest Rangers face Buildcon, the first time the teams are meeting since the latter team was promoted to the topflight.
And Power Dynamos coach Dan Kabwe will be hoping to beat determined Green Eagles to ease some pressure piling from their hard-to-please supporters arising from the team’s recent spate of stalemates.
Real Nakonde will be looking for the second victory when stuttering Nakambala Leopards visit the border town.
The last game of the day sees Kampamba Chintu’s Kabwe Warriors’ search for the first victory continues when ‘Sharp’ Konkola Blades come calling at Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu Stadium in Kabwe.