Patrice Beaumelle begins his tenure as Zambia coach on Tuesday with a big date against Brazil in Beijing.
The match will mark a milestone for both coach and country in what will be ┬áZambia’s debut ┬ámeeting against the five-time World champions and 2014 FIFA World Cup hosts.
For Beaumelle, the match will kick off his interim tenure after replacing his former boss Herve Renard who stepped down in fortnight ago to take up the job at struggling French club Sochaux.
“We will play without fear,” Beaumelle said.
“We will send the boys out to play with their hearts, with solidarity.”
However, Beaumelle will be without almost half his first team for the match.
Striker Collins Mbesuma is unfit after a spell on the sidelines due to injury and so too is midfielder Mukuka Mulenga including defender Davies Nkausu.
The biggest blow is in midfield where Rainford Kalaba and Nathan Sinkala will also be missing.
Sinkala, Kalaba and key defender Stopilla Sunzu failed to travel to China following an ensuing ugly club-versus-club row after TP Mazembe claimed the trio is either injured or sick.
This has left Beaumelle to rely on Zesco United’s Kondwani Mtonga and Chisamba Lungu from Russian club FC Ural to fill in the void.
Furthermore, striker Rodgers Kola of KAA Gent in Belgium is also a doubt after arriving into camp in Beijing with a hamstring injury.
However, the good news is goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, strikers Jacob Mukenga, Emmanuel Mayuka and Christopher Katongo are all available for the friendly.