Zesco United return to local action on Sunday with a date against Power Dynamos at Kitwe’s Arthur Davies Stadium — live on SuperSport on Sunday.
With two matches played since the start of the season, Zesco have not tasted local competition owing to Confederations Cup fixtures.
Coach Fighton Simukonda’s side returned home on Wednesday nursing the wounds of a 3-0 bashing at the hands of Nigerian side Warri Wolves in an away Confederations Cup assignment.
After settling for runners-up place last season, the 2008 champions are eager to regain their status by kick-starting the season on a winning note at Arthur Davies Stadium.
Against a Power side that has already asserted itself among title contenders this season, Zesco may not have an easy task.
At four points – with a win and draw – in two matches so far, Power coach Fordson Kabole is demanding more effort from his lads.
And dropping points at home doesn’t seem part of his mission this season. Power, who have not won any silverware in the last five years, finished third last season after a late resurgence.
Kabole is hoping to build on that momentum to overcome the dominance by Zesco and champions Zanaco in the top two brackets the last five seasons.
Goalkeeper Rabson Muchelenga’nga forms the base for Kabole’s team with instrumental skipper Joseph Sitali a key member of this season’s campaign
.Kabole relies on the creativity of 2008 Footballer of the Year Kennedy Mudenda and utility winger Simon Bwalya to break the backbone of the Zesco defence, marshalled by former internationals Billy Mwanza, Clive Hachilensa and youngster Percy Kisonge.
Mwanza, Hachilensa and Kisonge will also be expected to contain the dangerous moves of Power’s leading forwards in Luka Lungu and Elson Mkandawire.
Whereas young Lameck Mwale will engineer Power’s midfield, Simukonda may summon the expertise of Mathews Chikwete, Clifford Chipalo, Arthur Kaseloki and Siloni Jere to silence the Kitwe side in this live broadcast on Sunday kicking off at 3pm.
Simukonda will expect his side to deliver up front with Enock Sakala, Nicholas Zulu and Derrick Kabwe jostling for a place in the starting 11 as they hope to put the humiliating 3-0 defeat away.
Despite not playing a game in the local league so far, Zesco are in 14th position while Power are third with four points, two behind leaders Green Buffaloes.
In Saturday’s SuperSport live action, promotion side Nkana travel to Chililabombwe for a date against Konkola Blades.
Nkana, the 11-time league champions, are returning to top flight football amid struggles with no big name arrivals to beef up their squad.
Coach Benjamin Chilongo is depending on the experience of Douglas Chiwaya to salvage some pride for the red and white, one of the country’s most popular sides.
The Kitwe side is placed ninth after collecting two points in two matches but is in a better position compared to Blades going into the fixture.
Like Chilongo, Blades coach Kaizer Kalambo is searching for the team’s first victory, making Saturday’s match a potentially mouth watering battle.
Catch both fixtures on SuperSport Select at 3pm local time, Saturday and Sunday.