ZESCO United are seeking to bounce back to their winning ways and put their title aspirations back on track when they guest relegation-threatened Nkwazi in this rescheduled MTN-FAZ Premier League Week 17 fixture.
The Ndola side is wary that nothing less than victory would see second-placed Nkana taking over league leadership with a win over sixth-placed Roan United in a Week 16 re-arranged match as third-placed Red Arrows aim to close up on the top two with a win over Zanaco.
Zesco top the standings with 37 points from 19 matches followed by Nkana on 36 points having played two games less and Arrows are third with 33 points also with 17 games played, while Zanaco are fifth on 32 points followed by Roan on sixth position on 30 points and Nkwazi are fourth from bottom on 20 points.
Nkwazi v Zesco
Nkwazi and Zesco go into this encounter having suffered 3-1 defeats at the hands of Roan and Power Dynamos, respectively and will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways in this delayed mach due to the home side’s engagement in the regional police games.
Zesco would be beefed up by the return to action of Kondwani Mtonga who missed the weekend match due to national team duties in Kumasi in the Chipolopolo’s 2-1 defeat to Ghana in a Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier; but the electricity company-sponsored side will miss the services of Jackson Mwanza who is serving suspension after being sent off against Power.
Coach Tenant Chembo will be hoping for better and much improved performance from the likes of Alfred Luputa, Winston Kalengo and Lottie Phiri to go past a Nkwazi side that would be desperate for points to sail to safer waters on the log.
Roan v Nkana
Nkana welcomes back head coach Masausto Mwale, who missed the last matches due to national team duties, for today’s must-win encounter that should see the Kitwe side reclaim top slot if Zesco falters against Nkwazi.
But Nkana will need to be at their best to overcome an in-form Roan side that beat Nkwazi 3-1 in their last league match, thanks to goals from Kabwe Chileshe, Jean Lomani and Amos Tembo, and the onus will be on the likes of Festus Mbewe and Reynolds ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba to score those vital goals.
A win for Roan will push the Luanshya side into fourth position ahead of Nchanga Rangers.
Arrows v Zanaco
The Zambia Air Force (ZAF)-sponsored Arrows head into this tie bubbling with confidence after humiliating Konkola Blades 3-0 at the weekend to move into third place.
The team will be boosted further with the return to league action of captain and goalkeeper Danny Munyau, midfielder Bruce Musakanya and defender Bronson Chama, all who were away on national duty assignment in Ghana.
This fixture promises to be a tough clash as Zanaco are coming fresh from a resounding 2-0 victory over Green Buffaloes and coach Keegan Mumba would be eyeing another win to push the bankers within reach of the leading pack with Henry Banda, Moses Phiri and Davies Mwape likely to secure the win.
A win for Arrows will see them move to 36 points and can only assume second slot should Nkana lose to Roan or better the Kitwe side’s goal difference, while Zanaco can leapfrog into third position on the table with a win on 35 points.