THE Chipolopolo will be seeking redemption this afternoon against the Wasps of Rwanda in an international friendly match that will be the first for the team since the disastrous 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea.
Captain Rainford Kalaba will once again lead the charges as coach Honour Janza continues with his rebuilding process though fans will be expecting a better performance from the team.
The match billed for the magnificent Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka will see Janza looking to for a potent strike force after his top guns failed him at the AFCON.
Janza has called a relatively experimental side for this match where he has brought in an array of strikers including South Africa based Bornwell Mwape, who should blend with a hoard of locally based ones including 2014 league top scorer Jackson Mwanza.
Rwanda may be a team on the rise but their arrival which fell just 30 hours before this clash coupled with having a new coach who joined them 73 hours before making the flight to Lusaka, makes them a weaker opponent for this clash.
Janza is a man who does believe in upholding the status of the Chipolopolo and is unlikely to field a weakened side with the TP Mazembe trio of Kalaba, Given Singuluma and Chongo Kabaso all expected to start.
But a look at Janza squad reveals his words ahead of naming the team stating that this match will give a chance to the young players to step up and lay claim in the Chipolopolo.
He also wants the match to act as a preparatory ahead of the COSAFA Senior Challenge to be held in South Africa in May.
Janza has just shut his ears from all critics who are still nostalgic about the 2012 AFCON winning stars especially the shutting out for the likes of Chris Katongo, James Chamanga, Joseph Musonda, Hichani Himoonde and even the hard working Jacob Mulenga.
But he has with him some AFCON veterans like Kalaba, some under transitioning players layers like Alex Ng’onga, Jackson Mwanza and Kondwani Mtonga as well as some upstarts in Larry Bwalya and Kayawe Kapota.
Even as experimental as his side will be, Janza will be spoilt for choice in every department.
His opposite number Irishman Johnny Mckinstry believes he has an energetic crop of players who are hungry for success especially that most of them are in the Rwanda Olympics (under-23) team and would play to win.
“I have a new crop of players, most of whom you don’t know but the next generation of players for Rwanda. I have just been with them for about three days but I like what I have seen in training and I am sure Zambia will see how good they are,” he said.
Mckinstry, who boosted that he had Tanzanian side Young Africa star Arouna Nayonzima in his squad, said history will count for nothing in this tie.
He said that while it was important to give Zambia respect for their achievement over the years, the home side equally had little experience and history will count for noting in this match.