ZAMBIA will today be looking forward to bouncing back to winning ways when they face leaders Burundi in a Group B match at the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi.
After the opening games, surprise leaders Burundi have three points after their 2-0 win over Somalia on Thursday while Zambia and Tanzania have a point each. Somalia have nothing.
For Zambia coach Patrice Beaumelle, the search for the first win continues.
Since taking over from Herve Renard in October, Beaumelle has lost three and drawn one.
Zambia lost 0-2 to Brazil, 0-1 to Jordan, 0-2 to Egypt and drew 1-1 with Tanzania.
This is not a good record for a candidate who is vying for the Chipolopolo top job.
Zambia have not beaten Burundi in the last seven years.
Zambia lost 2-3 to Burundi at the same competition in Ethiopia in 2006 but the then Patrick Phiri-tutored team went on to be crowned champions.
The teams met at the same competition in 2009 and the match ended 1-1 and at the 2010 tournament in Tanzania it was a goalless draw.
“We have to beat them [Burundi] but it won’t be easy. They won, they have three points, they are leading the group but we just have to win to move on. We have a chance to win if we take our chances,” Beaumelle said.
Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba is a sure starter upfront.
Kampamba had a cracking game against Tanzania and if he displays the same form today, a win is certain.
Kampamba, who was on target against Tanzania, will be partnered with Festus Mbewe in attack.
Bornwell Mwape is another option in attack.
Kondwani Mtonga, Sydney Kalume, Felix Katongo and Stanley Nshimbi will keep the midfield running.
“Jimmy Chisenga is out, Kondwani will be assessed this afternoon [yesterday] and Felix will make it for the match,” national team doctor Joseph Kabungo said from Nairobi yesterday.
In case Mtonga does not make it, Beaumelle will use Justin Zulu or Misheck Chaila as a defensive midfielder.
Kabaso Chongo, Roderick Kabwe, Christopher Munthali and skipper Bronson Chama will make up the back four while Toaster Nsabata will be between the sticks.
Burundi striker Abdul Razak, scorer of one of the goals in the 2-0 win over Somalia, is confident of causing an upset.
“We are eager to maintain our momentum, but we are aware we are facing former African champions Zambia, which makes the game tough. We do not want to fall to easy goals. We shall be more focused because we know Zambia is a tough side,” Razak told supersport.com.
Razak was player-of-the-match against Somalia and this speaks volumes of his skill.
The match is set for 16:00hours.