Nkana eye Barclays Cup success

Mukuka Mulenga Sundowns' Team profile

THE chase for the K2 million-rich Barclays Cup competition continues today with Nkana eyeing to advance to the next round when they take on unpredictable Green Buffaloes in a lunch time kick-off at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium.
While Nkana will be battling it out against Buffaloes in the all-Premier League clash, league leaders Zesco United have a seemingly easy tie against FAZ Division One South leaders, Green Eagles in a later fixture of this double header.
Winners of this year’s tournament will pocket K200, 000 with the  runners-up getting K100, 000, while the coach and player of the tournament will receive K10,000 and K5,000, respectively.
The semi-finals would be played on October 26 on the Copperbelt, while the final has been set for November 26 in Lusaka.
Nkana v Buffaloes (12:45hrs)
Nkana head into this fixture boasting of not having lost a match to Buffaloes this season; drawn 1-all at Woodlands Stadium before Reynolds ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba scored the 90th minute winner.
“It will be an exciting and gauging match from the start. We have not played for one or two months and that has taken a toll on the players, but we need to polish up and see how the players will account themselves,” Nkana coach Masausto Mwale said.
Nkana, who wasted a 1-0 lead to take draw with Roan United in a midweek clash, will need to improve their game against a Buffaloes side that has been playing some good football, but lacks consistency.
Mwale has the likes of Jimmy Ndhlovu, Festus Mbewe, Kampamba, Christopher Munthali, among others to win him the match, while Buffaloes coach Patrick Phiri, who will be aiming to prove a point against his former side, has the likes of Percy Bilyoti, Felix Katongo, Sebastian Mwansa, and Felix Sunzu Jr and company, to get him the qualification to the semi-finals.
Zesco v Eagles (15:15 hrs)
Zesco’s pursuit for a fourth Barclays Cup title appears to be on track as they seem to be favourites over Green Eagles as they hope to reach the last four of the competition.
The Ndola side has dominated the Barclays Cup since its inception seven years ago.
But Zesco would do well to take this match seriously as undermining Eagles, who have been playing well in the lower ranks, might cost them dearly and halt their unprecedented fourth title.
Coach Tenant Chembo expressed happiness with the draw saying: “It’s a good draw and also a blessing in disguise because we beat Eagles during our pre-season tour in Livingstone,’’.
Midfielder Khodwani Mtonga should be play an inspirational role for  Zesco along with Jackson Mwanza who bounces back to the squad after missing the midweek barren draw away to Nkwazi.
Chembo should have a strong side to choose from to overcome a Justin Chinama side that would be all-out to prove a point.s