Chipolopolo face Senegal in an international friendly at Saint Leu in Paris

Zambia 2-0 Zimbabwe - Chipolopolo Cosafa Cup champions @ Levi Mwanawasa Stadium

ZAMBIA’s preparations for next month’s decisive 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier against Ghana gets into high gear tonight, when the Chipolopolo face Senegal in an international friendly at Saint Leu in Paris.
Coach Herve Renard has virtually all the players he needs to assess in a competitive match.
The only exceptions are skipper Christopher Katongo, striker James Chamanga and dribbling midfielder Chisamba Lungu.
Katongo and Chamanga, both weaving their careers in China, were excused because they could have arrived in Paris hours before the match.
Lungu, who campaigns in Russia, encountered visa hitches.
On the other hand, Senegal coach Alain Giresse has excluded England-based strikers Papiss Cisse (Newcastle United) and Demba Ba (Chelsea) as he strives to build a team for the future.
The teams will use the match to prepare for respective crucial qualifiers. Group J leaders Senegal host Uganda while second-placed Zambia are away to leaders Ghana on September 6 in a Group D tie.
The teams last met on January 21, 2012 in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, in the Africa Cup of Nations opening match, which Zambia won 2-1.
Emmanuel Mayuka and Rainford Kalaba, the scorers in that match are available and will oncemore seek to expose Senegal’s  defence.
Dame N’Doye, who scored Senegal’s consolation in this defeat in Bata, is in Giresse team.
The teams have met on four other occasions in the last 13 years.
Zambia drew 2-2 with Senegal in the preliminary round at the 2000 Ghana/Nigeria Africa Cup of Nations.
The Teranga Lions beat Zambia 1-0 in the preliminary round at the 2002 Mali Africa Cup of Nations and by a similar margin in the 2006 Germany World Cup qualifiers.
The World Cup matches were staged in Dakar and Chililabombwe. Surprisingly, Togo topped the group and qualified for the World Cup finals at the expsense of favourites Senegal and Zambia.
“This is a good preparatory match. Senegal is a strong side who could give us a good send off to Ghana. We are taking the match seriously,” Renard said from Paris yesterday.
Football Association of Zambia communications manager Erick Mwanza summed it: “Everyone is in, the squad is complete”.
Mayuka and Jacob Mulenga should get the nod in attack.
The Senegalese are aware of Mayuka’s threat and they are expected to give him particular attention.
Mayuka’s confidence is high having scored his first goal for English side Southampton in the 3-1 win over Turkish side Bekistas in a friendly on July 27.
Mulenga, who scored three goals in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Sudan, will be looking forward to another inspiring Chipolopolo showing.
The lanky striker scored a brace in the 4-0 battering of Lesotho and was on target in the 1-1 draw with Sudan.
Youngsters Evans Kangwa, Bornwell Mwape and Festus Mbewe are other goal-getters who could get a run.
Mbewe and Kangwa have been on the score sheet twice and once respectively in the African Nations Championship qualifying series while Mwape netted once in the Cosafa Castle Senior Challenge Cup, which Zambia hosted and won last month.
Fwayo Tembo, who is in tip-top form for Romanian side Astra Giurgiu, ‘Master’ Kalaba, Bruce Musakanya and Nathan Sinkala will be options for midfield roles.
Other players for Renard’s consideration are Roderick Kabwe and Kondwani Mtonga.
Giresse will be looking to not only refine his team, but to also avenge the loss to Zambia in Equatorial Guinea.
As Gabon boss, Giresse saw his side lose 2-1 to Zambia at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.
To get victory, Giresse will rely on Fenerbahce striker Moussa Sow.
Sow was part of the team that lost to Zambia last year and he will be eager to make amends.
Giresse’s preparations for the match against Zambia suffered a setback last week when AC Milan striker Mbaye Niang turned down the invitation.
With or without Niang, Sow and company are a formidable side that could give a torrid time to Zambia’s defence of Davies Nkausu, Joseph Musonda, Stopilla Sunzu and Hichani Himoonde.
Kabaso Chongo, Christopher Munthali and Bronson Chama are other defenders available for selection.
Skipper of the day Kennedy Mweene will stand between the posts. Daniel Munyao could be introduced as the match progresses.


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