Zambia – Uganda Preview: Cranes eye perfect start in Chan 2018

Zambia – Uganda Preview: Cranes eye perfect start in Chan 2018

Chipolopolo will be competing in the finals for the third time having knocked out South Africa in the third round of qualification

After a poor African Cup of Nations outing, the Uganda Cranes have an opportunity to make things right by doing better in the sister competition Chan.

As for the Chipolopolo of Zambia, it is a great chance to market their local league which is touted to be one of the best in the continent.

From 2010, the two nations have met six times in all competitions. Zambia has won five of those encounters, drawing once, but eventually lost to the East African side in the extra time.

In those six encounters, Chipolopolo have scored six goals and conceded half of those. Chipolopolo will be competing in the finals for the third time having knocked out South Africa in the third round of qualification.

Wedson Nyirenda, the Zambia coach, will look to Ernest Mbewe and Alex Ng’onga as his key players having included the two in his final squad for the tournament.

Both Zambia and Uganda have never won the Chan title. Chipolopolo finished third during the 2009 finals, while the Cranes have never reached the knockout stages.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Zambia: Defender Adrian Chamawas in the Chipolopolo side that played in Rwanda two years ago, and his experience will be valuable against the unpredictable Uganda forwards.

Midfielder Augustine Mulenga has attracted attention from foreign clubs thanks to his work rate and skill in the midfield and will be greatly relied on by his teammates to control proceedings in the midfield.

Uganda: Vipers defender Nico Wadada has been consistent for Uganda and he will be among the key players in that Uganda Cranes side to stop fast Zambian wingers. Another man to help the Cranes click is non other than midfielder Muzamiru Mutyaba. The man is unstoppable on his day.

Zambia squad Goalkeepers: Moses Mapulanga (Nkana), Toaster Nsabata (Zanaco), Allan Chibwe (Power Dynamos); Defenders: Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu (both Zesco United), Lawrence Chungu (Power Dynamos), John Mwangeni (Nkana), Ziyo Tembo (Zanaco), Isaac Shamujompa (Buildcon), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes).

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Midfielders: Kondwani Mtonga (Zesco United), Donashano Malama (Nkana),Jack Chirwa, Mike Katiba (both Green Buffaloes), Ernest Mbewe, Augustine Mulenga (both Zanaco), Larry Bwalya, Godfrey Ngwenya (both Power Dynamos), Chanda Mushili (Lumwana Radiants); Strikers: Martin Phiri, Alex Ng’onga (both Power Dynamos), Friday Samu (Green Buffaloes), Lazarus Kambole (Zesco United).

Uganda squad: Goalkeepers: Isma Watenga (Vipers Sc), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA FC), Saidi Keni (Proline FC); Defenders: Nico Wakiro Wadada (Vipers Sc), Joseph Nsubuga (Sc Villa Jogoo), Isaac Muleme (KCCA FC), Aggrey Madoi (Police FC), Timothy Dennis Awanyi (KCCA FC), Bernard Muwanga (Sc Villa Jogoo), Mujuzi Mustapha (Proline FC).

Midfielders: Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC), Ibrahim Saddam Juma (KCCA FC), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC), Milton Karisa (Vipers SC), Abubaker Kasule (Express FC), Allan Kyambadde (SC Villa Jogoo), Paul Mucureezi (KCCA FC), Rahmat Senfuka (Police F.C); Forwards: Derrick Nsibambi (KCCA FC), Muhammad Shaban (KCCA FC), Nelson Senkatuka (Bright Stars FC).