ZESCO United will today be seeking a good start to the CAF Champions League when they take on JKU at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar. And Zanaco will equally be looking to step one foot in the next round of the Confederation League when they host Gambia AF in the first leg preliminary round match at Sunset Stadium.
Meanwhile, Green Buffaloes return to continental football after a nine-year absence with a tricky tie against Egyptian side Al Masry in the first leg preliminary round match at Port Said Stadium.
This will be Tenant Chembo’s first international assignment as head coach having been assistant to George Lwandamina and Zlatko Krmpotic in previous assignments.
Chembo will be under pressure for a good start more so that Lwandamina his former boss is still being rumoured for a possible return to his former post at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Chembo is not taking the little-known JKU as an underdog saying the fact they are champions of Zanzibar means they have what it takes to compete in bigger competitions.
JKU has several players in the national team including goalkeeper Abdulrahmab Mohid, defender Issa Dan, midfielder Feisal Salum and striker Ameur Sleiman and this is their second participation in the Champions League after last year’s campaign.
“For JKU to participate in this tournament, we don’t have to underrate them. We have to give them respect because they are champions of Zanzibar, we don’t know what they possess,” Chembo said in his pre-match comments.
“But having said that, we are ready for the task ahead of us. We are injury free and everyone is reeling to go. It is important that we remain focused. It’s going to be tough we just have to work towards our objective.”
Zanaco in the meantime will be working to make the return leg easier by winning by a huge score line.
Buffaloes on the other hand have a real battle on their hands with Masry coach Hossan Hassan declaring that his side would be working to win by a cricket scoreline to make the return leg in Lusaka a formality.