Zesco face Red Arrows in a Week 21 match at Ndola’s Trade Fair Grounds

FLASH BACK: Green Buffaloes striker Rueben Tembo (left) beats Zesco United defender Nyambe Mulenga during yesterday’s MTN Super Division Week 10 match at Woodlands Stadium in Lusaka. Zesco won 3-1. – Picture by JEAN MANDELA.

ZESCO United’s stay at the summit of the MTN Super Division today comes under check when they face Red Arrows in a Week 21 match at Trade Fair Ground in Ndola.
Second-placed Nkana have an easy fixture against whipping boys Lime Hotspur, reigning champions Zanaco host Konkola Mine Police and fourth placed Nchanga Rangers have a tricky match against Green Buffaloes.
Zesco have 41 points, one better than Nkana.
Buoyed by Sunday’s 2-0 win over Roan United, Zesco will be seeking to complete a double over Arrows.
Zesco, who beat Arrows 1-0 in Lusaka, know what is at stake and coach Tenant Chembo will unleash a squad that will keep the fourth Super Division title in sight.
Winstone Kalengo, who has recovered from injury, might partner Jackson Mwanza and Lottie Phiri in attack while international Kondwani Mtonga, Maybin Mwaba, Mwape Mwelwa and Kangwa Chileshe will be pulling strings in midfield.
Mwelwa and Mtonga contributed a goal in the beating of Roan.
“It will be a difficult game. Arrows have recovered their form and we have to be focused. They (Arrows) are in contention and are drilled by one of the senior coaches (George Lwandamina).
“We just have to compete. It is one of the interesting seasons and this shows that football has improved in the country. We are ready for Arrows,” Chembo said.
But Arrows also need victory today to put the title chase back on track.
Smarting from Saturday’s a 0-1 loss to Power Dynamos, Arrows need to pick up the pieces and forge forward.
Arrows, however, will miss goalkeeper Daniel Munyao, who went under the knife on his left tendon last weekend.
Medson Luwawa is a safe pair of hands in goal, international Bronson Chama will command the defence, Chipolopolo star Bruce Musakanya will dictate play in midfield and Stanley Nshimbi will lead the frontline.
“We expect a tough and we have worked on the mistakes we made during the match against Power Dynamos. We have done our homework and we are ready for Zesco,” Arrows public relations officer Lieutenant Misheck Kalembwe said.
Arrows have 34 points.
Nkana coach Masauso Mwale is already counting three points because Lime does not look like a team that could cause an upset.
Reynold Kampamba, Festus Mbewe and Christopher Munthali, who scored a brace on Sunday will take turns at shooting at goal.
But Nkana will regret if they underrate Lime, who are in dire need of points to remain in the elite league.
Lime have 13 points.
Zanaco’s rise to the top is expected to continue when they welcome Konkola Mine Police at Sunset Stadium in Lusaka.
Aubrey Zulu and Davies Mwape, who accounted for a brace in the 4-1 trouncing of Lime last Saturday, will seek to replicate the same form.
On the other hand, Police need maximum points more than Zanaco and coach Bruce Mwape will instruct his players to utilise scoring opportunities they create.
Zanaco have 36 points while fifth from the bottom Police have 22 points.
Former Zambia coach Patrick Phiri and his former assistant Fighton Simukonda will vie for supremacy when Buffaloes visit Rangers in Chingola.
Phiri’s Buffaloes and Simukonda’s Rangers drew 1-1 in the first meeting in Lusaka and today’s match could go either way.
Both teams recorded victories last Saturday with Rangers edging Police 2-1 while Buffaloes nudged Kabwe Warriors 2-0.
Rangers have 36 points, three better than Buffaloes.
In other matches, relegation threatened Nkwazi and Forest Rangers battle at Edwin Imboela Stadium in Lusaka, Konkola Blades entertain Roan United at Konkola Stadium in Chililabombwe, Kabwe Warriors face Kalulushi Modern Stars at Godfrey Chitalu Stadium in Kabwe while the match between Napsa Stars and Power Dynamos has been postponed.