ONLY perhaps coach Sven Vandenbroeck knows what to expect when the Chipolopolo take on Namibia at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek today in the 2019 Cameroon Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Named as coach only in July after the resignation of Wedson Nyirenda, the nation is yet to see Vandenbroeck’s team in any meaningful action. This will be his first real test.
Although he has had little time to work with the players since his appointment, there is little room for error on his part as the Chipolopolo are playing catch-up in Group K having lost their first match 1-0 to Mozambique at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola in June last year.
With Wada, as Nyirenda is called sometimes, in charge of the team, the national team appeared toxic at times.
And Namibia coach Manneti Ricardo says his sides aim is to see the brave warriors blunt the chipoloplo in Saturday afternoon’s match to be played at Sam Nujoma stadium.
Both Zambia and Namibia are rock bottom after both sides recorded loses on match day 1.
The Chipolopolo boys will aim to put their Cameroon 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign back on track with a potentially explosive match against Namibia in Windhoek this afternoon.
is a positive vibe around the team with new coach Sven Vandenbroek having picked a universally acceptable squad that is a blend of youth and experience.
Vandenbroek has included four 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winners in Rainford Kalaba, Kennedy Mweene, Stoppilla Sunzu and Nathan Sinkala with the finer of the Bola na Lesa all-conquering U20 squad also contributing reigning African Young Player of the Year Patson Daka, Enock ‘Computer’ Mwepu, Solomon Sakala and Fashion Sakala.
There has been also a show of confidence in local stars that are lighting the local league like Bruce Musakanya, Spencer Sautu, Gideon Sichone, Lawrence Chungu among others while red hot Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga are part of the cast.
Vandenbroek will have an array of stars to pick from his squad and will also be giving Zambians an insight into his philosophy.
Long serving goalie Kennedy Mweene is expected to maintain his spot between the sticks while a central defence partnership of Sunzu and Kabaso Chongo looks likely with Lawrence Chungu taking up the leftback spot while versatile SuperSport star Gampani Lungu may be handed the right back position as he has done for his club as a stop gap measure.
In midfield Nathan Sinkala is expected to take up the holding role alongside the mercurial Mwepu.
Upfront Patson Daka will be the point man while Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga could be fitted upfront depending on the coach’s formation.
Kalaba could be deployed on the right flank with the possibility of Lubambo Musonda taking up the left wing.
The squad will have the duty of converting the promise on paper into reality.
The match kicks off at 16:00 hours and will be beamed live on SuperSport 7.
Zambia and Namibia are looking for their first points after having lost their opening matches in Group K.