Zambia host Zimbabwe in friendly
Zambia and Zimbabwe clash in a trans-Zambezi derby in a friendly on August 8 at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
The friendly will be the first meeting almost a year to the date when Zimbabwe beat Zambia 2-0 in another friendly played at Rufaro Stadium in Harare on August 10 under ex-coach Dario Bonetti.
Zambia are also still without a win over Zimbabwe in two successive meetings after previously losing 3-1 to their rivals on November 9, 2009 in the COSAFA Challenge Cup final at Rufaro with Herve Renard at the helm.
Renard will have only three players from the 2012 Africa Cup winning team available for this friendly.
The trio, all home-based, are goalkeeper Kalililo Kakonje, defender Nyambe Mulenga and striker Evans Kangwa.
Kakonje was in goals on that date a year ago in the two sides’ last meeting.
He is should start but the pressure is on him redeem himself and to try and help Zambia avoid their first home loss to Zimbabwe who have beaten their hosts just six time in 37 meetings.
However, Renard’s objective in this warm-up is not essentially the 2013 Africa Cup third round first leg qualifier against Uganda set for September 8 at the same venue.
Emphasis for Renard will be to fine-tune a team for the 2014 CAF African Nations Championship qualifiers that kickoff in November.
It will be a good chance too for Power Dynamos’ late bloomer and the leagues current top scorer Graven Chitalu who has 11 goals from 19 games this season to try and impress Renard for a place in the CHAN team.
Zimbabwe too under caretaker coach Rahman Gumbo will also be using the friendly to prepare for their CHAN qualifiers with two Botswana-based players complementing the 22 home-based players in the travelling party to Zambia.
Meanwhile, Zambia are hoping to extend their unbeaten run at their brand new home to two games after defeating Ghana 1-0 there on June 9 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Follow Live Play-by-Play coverage of this match right here on MTNFootball.com, kick-off at 18:00pm (CAT)