ZAMBIA’s preparations for Sunday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Kenya have been boosted by the arrival of skipper Rainford Kalaba and four other foreign-based players.
The arrival of the five brings the number of foreign-based players in camp to nine.
Kalaba and his TP Mazembe counterparts Kabaso Chongo and Nathan Sinkala alongside France-based defender Stopilla Sunzu joined camp on Monday evening and were part of the morning training session at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka yesterday.
Armenia-based midfielder Lubambo Musonda joined the team yesterday afternoon.
Russia-based midfielder Chisamba Lungu, Moroccan side Moghreb Tétouan defender Aaron Katebe and the South Africa-based duo of goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene and striker Collins Mbesuma are the other professionals in camp.
The Israel-based duo of defender Emmanuel Mbola and striker Evans Kangwa are expected to complete George Lwandamina’s squad today.
Coach Lwandamina is expected to name the final squad tomorrow.
He has summoned 17 local players.
And Zesco United Kenyan defender David Odhiambo said there will be no love affair when he faces the Chipolopolo tutored by his club coach Lwandamina.
Odhiambo said in an interview in Ndola on Sunday that the Harambee Stars are targeting maximum points.
“When it comes to the flag that is another thing. My club is another thing. When we play them [Zambia] it’s all about the flag. We just play for the flag. God willing I think we are going to win this time,” he said.
Odhiambo is looking forward to finding the back of the net.
He nodded in a Justin Zulu free-kick in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Konkola Blades and was named man-of-the-match.
“There is nothing strange facing them [Zambia]. It’s a game of football and any team that prepares well will carry the day but we are playing at home. It’s long since we played at the AfCON finals and I think this is our time. We will do our best and get the result,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kenya coach Bobby Williamson has recalled Saudi Arabia-based defender David Ochieng.
According to The Star Newspaper, Williamson has also summoned three local players.
The local players are Johanna Otieno of Mathare United and Thika United’s duo of Danson Kago and Sammy Meja.
“We are going to train intensively from Tuesday [yesterday] afternoon but we may have some light work-out on Wednesday [today] morning. It is a difficult match but we are counting on the home support to drive us through the extra mile and supply us with that extra incentive,” Williamson said.
The Football Kenya Federation has appointed Sofapaka assistant coach and Harambee Starlets trainer David Ouma to assist Williamson.
The Confederation of African Football has appointed Sudanese referees to handle the Kenya versus Zambia match.
Mutaz Abdelbasit Khairalla will be on the centre with Mohammed Abdallah Ibrahim and Haitham Ahmed as first and second assistants, respectively.