CHIPOLOPOLO coach Milutin (Micho) Sredojevic says this afternoon’s friendly match against Malawi will be about gathering momentum going into this month’s AfCON qualifier match against Botswana.
Zambia host Malawi this afternoon at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka as the team gears up preparations for both the 2021 AfCON qualifiers and the 2020 CHAN finals in Cameroon.
Speaking at yesterday’s media briefing ahead of the match, Micho said he would use all the 22 players, of 11 players in each half, in order to pick the 25 that would travel to Uganda for a three nations tournament from where he will select the team for the Botswana game which will also have professionals.
He said his team will take Malawi seriously though he would rest some players from Zanaco Football Club who he said have played a lot of football.
“We don’t have intentions to undermine the opponent, we have respect for Malawi, Malawi games are always tough. Some of the players have too many games in their legs, [they] will not participate tomorrow because we want to widen the selection for the three nations’ tournament,” Micho said. “We will use all the 22 players, 11 players each half. We want our match to be what we have been preparing in the little time we have been training and want Zambia to be… I am really impressed with the amount of talent I have [seen] in a short time. Zambian players have a lot of sport intelligence. We want to build the momentum going into the AfCON qualifier against Botswana,” he said.
And Malawi coach Meck Mwase said the match will be much more than a friendly as his side is preparing to face Burkina Faso in the AfCON qualifier.
“We have come to play a friendly game. It is not just a friendly match, we have come to give the Zambia national team a good preparatory match. We are facing Burkina Faso, we have a full squad for local players who have been together for four years. We played Zambia in the COSAFA last year, so we have a picture of several players for Zambia. We have almost 15 players who were with us last year in Durban,” said Mwase.
Chipolopolo host Botswana on March 26 with the return match three days later in Gaborone.