August 13, 2012
Herve Renard is set to make four changes when his African Champions take on the Red Devils of South Korea from the side which beat Ghana in June in a match day 2 Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Buoyed by the under-23′s bronze medal at the just ended London 2012 Olympics which comes with an incentive of missing military training for all the 18 players, the home side will be raring to put up a good show against the Kings of Africa without the services of former Manchester United star Park Ji Sung who has retired from international football.
While the South Korean coach has the luxury of drafting in a few players from the under-23 side, his counterpart will be missing five key players.
The Frenchman will be without TP Mazembe fliers Rainford Kalaba, Stopilla Sunzu, Hichani Himonde and the recovered Nathan Sinkala. The quartet have started Zambia’s eight successive competitive matches -six of those coming at the 2012 African Cup of Nations – and such is their significance.
In addition to the quartet’s absence, Renard has been dealt with the withdrawal of Dutch based Jacob Mulenga due to family commitments . This is was the match billed for the return of the powerful striker, and pre-match build up could have centered around the 28 year old’s role in the starting lineup and his strike partner.
Could Renard had broken the Chris Katongo and Emmanuel Mayuka partnership which has seen se7en goals in 8 matches scored between the pair to pave way for the ‘unselfish’ former Afrisports striker or the gaffer could have opted for the 2010 African Cup of Nations twin tower strike-force of Jacob and the inform James Chamanga?
These questions could be resurrected next month when the African Champions hosts Uganda in the first leg of the South Africa 2013 African Cup of Nations when the missing quintuple are expected to make the squad, but for now, the headache will be who are the four players coming in for the TP ‘Mazambians.’
While Chris Katongo wears the armband, inside the Team Chipolpolo camp, veteran defender Kampamba Chintu is considered the captain, and his leadership dexterity haven’t gone unnoticed as Renard now refers to him as a future Chipolopolo coach, the unofficial title he gave to the former defence Kingpin and legendary Elijah Tana before he retired.
Modibo as Chintu is known is aware of his role in the team and the South Korea game presents a rare start for the last man standing from the Andrew Sinkala captained ‘class of 99.’ After been the then 20 year old and midfielder Sunzu’s side-kick at the 2010 AFON, Modibo will be at it again on Wednesday when he will be partnered with rookie Aaron Katebe from Zimbabwean side Hwange FC, coached by 1994 AFCON Silver medalists Tenant Chilumba.
Katebe, a member of Honour Janza’s 2010 Cosafa under-20 winning side won many plaudits after his assured and calm performance in the 2-1 friendly match against Zimbabwe but an opposition in the calibre of the Asians brings a more stern test for than Angola, Malawi and those from the inferior side of Zambezi.
Porto FC reserve left back Emmanuel Mbola picks himself but Renard has some decision to make on the right full back position. Russia based Chisamba Lungu is a sure starter but it remains unclear whether he will continue either as a ‘makeshift full back’ or revert to the midfield role in the absence of the mercurial Kalaba.
Zamfoot‘s expected line up
Subs: Kalililo – The Machine, Adepoju, Ba Noah, The Magician, Ba Muzo
Expected to return: Ba Mupa, HH, Young Sinkala, King Kola, Sudan 1, Jacob, & Sto!
Can force their way into selection: Galactico, Freedom & Clifford
Owing to the fact that Uganda is next, and Zambia needs to play an attacking game at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium next month, then the Frenchman might opt to use Chisamba at right full back because Zambia is expected to attack and use the home ground advantage though many fans would be a bit more content with Nkausu in Seoul.
So with Sunzu, Himonde and Kalaba replaced and that leaves out young Sinkala’s position, and the right to partner Isaac Chansa in midfield in what would be a traditional 4-4-2 formation.
The Frenchman has three options in Israel based William Njobvu and Power Dynamos duo Joseph Sitali and Thomas Nyirenda though it is a close call between the two easterners Njobvu and Nyirenda.
The lineup will be completed with by the Katongo brothers; Chris and Felix, and Swiss based Emmanuel Mayuka with Kennedy Mweene in goal.
The likes of Kalililo Kakonje Sitali, Noah Chivuta, Njobvu, Nyambe Mulenga and Joseph Musonda should be content with a place on the bench and the Frenchman will definitely be happy with the depth in his squad.
What should be the starting line up in the absence of the TP Mazembe quartet? Have You Say