Zambia: The Chipolopolo got their FIFA window action yesterday evening (Thursday) with a titanic clash against the Pharaohs of Egypt at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.
Coach Avram Grant has the luxury of most of his top talents who were part of the driving force in the qualification to the Ivory Coast 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The only notable absentees are the trio of the jet-heeled Lameck Banda, who is on the books of Lecce, Frankie Musonda (AYR United-Scotland) and goalie Lawrence Mulenga (Power Dynamos).
In goal, the competition will be among the recalled Red Arrows shot-stopper Charles Kalumba, Francis Mwansa and Victor Chabu, while the backline selection will be a contest among Stopilla Sunzu, Dominic Chanda, Roderick Kabwe, Benedict Chepeshi, John Chishimba, Gift Mphande, Luka Banda, Zephaniah Phiri and John Chishimba.
The midfield presents an array of options, among them Kelvin Kapumbu, Emmanuel Banda and Golden Mafwenta, while the creative cast could be left to Kings Kangwa, skipper Lubambo Musonda, Edward Chilufya, Clatous Chama and Rally Bwalya.
Upfront, the talismanic Patson Daka will renew its age-old partnership with the athletic Fashion Sakala. In-form Evans Kangwa, who is a 2012 AFCON winner, Francisco Mwepu and Moyela Libamba will have a say in the selection process.
The Egyptians will be looking to their iconic Mohammed Salah and the likes of fit-again Mohamed El Neny, Moar Marmoush of Eintrachr Franfurt and Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan.
Zambia is using the match as part of preparations for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers that kick off next month. Kickoff for the match will be at 20:00 hours local time (18:00 hours Zambian time.
Zambia will also play Uganda on Tuesday in the second friendly match. The match will be live on SuperSport.