By NDINAWE SIMPELWE -
LEAGUE leaders Power Dynamos face their biggest test so far this year when they visit defending champions Zesco United in the MTN-FAZ Week-Six fixture while joint league leaders Green Buffaloes will look cash-in on a Power slip up to go top when they host Green Eagles.
Red Arrows and Honour Janza have to win the league this season but the loss in midweek to Kitwe United told a bad story and they will want to bounce back against Nakambala Leopards.
Zesco vs Power
ZESCO United announced the re-engagement of coach George Lwandamina who replaced Tenant Chembo but it is not clear if the ‘Chicken” will be in charge of the team in today’s electric derby.
But just the mention of Lwandamina is enough to inspire the Zesco players as well as instil fear in the visitors.
But Power has started the season on a positive note and has every reason to go into this game believing Zesco will be another of their victims having already beaten their biggest rival Nkana away in the Kitwe derby.
Power is growing in confidence with each game and will start as favourites today as they aim to maintain top spot.
Power coach Kelvin Kaindu admitted that this game comes with a lot of pressure with both sides looking to maintain their unbeaten run.
“We have started well, we have maintained top spot from the first game until now. We still want to keep the momentum. They (Zesco) have the pedigree as they have represented the country in Champions League for many years but we also want to be consistent,” Kaindu said.
Upfront Power will look to Alex Ng’onga despite getting a lot of stick for his ‘misfiring’ is and will get help from Lameck Kafwaya to trouble the defence of Zesco marshalled by David Owino and Marcel Kalonda.
Larry Bwalya will take his position in midfield for the visitors and may get assisted by Godfrey Ngwenya who has recovered from an injury that has sidelined him since January but both Benson Sakala and Kelvin Mubanga are available for selection.
Zesco can look to in-form Lazarous Kambole who has six goals in all competitions as well as Jesse Were for goals with Misheck Chaila and Kondwani Mtonga starting in midfield.
Buffaloes v Eagles
GREEN Buffaloes have continued from where they left last season from and picking vital points in crucial matches as they chase another CAF Championship spot.
Bilton Musonda has transformed Buffaloes into a title contender and as they host Green Eagles today, they will look to nothing but maximum points.
Eagles despite having an experienced coach in Aggrey Chiyangi are still struggling to impose their weight on the league, winning two and losing just as many games in their first five outings.
Lumwana vs Nkana
THIS match brings together two coaches who swapped clubs at the same time and each will be eager to impress their ‘new’ employers.
The two sides have had bad starts to the season with Nkana losing two games in roll- to Power and Zesco- while Lumwana on the other hand have only won once in five.
Today’s game will prove to be a stepping stone for either side and will hope that a positive result will trigger better things for the season.
A defeat for either will mount pressure on the respective coach looking at the rate clubs are firing their trainers this season.
Nakambala v Arrows
RED Arrows were stunned by promoted Kitwe United on Wednesday losing 2-1 at home which left them sixth on the table.
The defeat derailed Arrows’ chance of mounting an early title challenge and the team will look to bounce back away to 12th placed Nakambala.
But Nakambala are also in desperate need of points having lost three times already but the two wins they have recorded this season have come from home which gives them the confidence they can win this one.
Arrows owners tasked coach Janza to win the league and it seems the directive is putting pressure on the coach and players especially that they also trained in Spain in pre-season.
Warriors v Dynamos
BOTH teams have new coaches this season and are struggling to settle and produce the required results.
Warriors hired Tenant Chilumba who has plucked out two wins and two draws in the first five matches while Dynamos who are expected to launch a title challenge under Dan Kabwe have won twice and lost twice leaving them on eighth on the table.
Clatous Chama was the darling of the social media after Dynamos thrashed Swallows 5-1 and the midfield looks set to do the same against Warriors today with Chris Mugalu leading the attack as he chases another golden boot award.
Napsa v Buildcon
BOTTOM side NAPSA sent an SOS to coach Elijah Chikwanda following their poor start to the season and today he starts his reign at the club against 18th placed Buildcon after replacing Linos Makwaza.
Buildcon also panicked after losing their first three matches and parted ways with their Italian coach Arena Gulgleimo who was replaced by former Zesco assistant coach Tenant Chembo.
Both coaches have a chance to change fortunes at the clubs and Chembo may head into this match with confidence after holding Nkana to a 1-1 draw in Kitwe on Wednesday.
Chikwanda is known for building stubborn teams that are difficult to beat and he looks like a perfect fit for Napsa on paper.
Both sides are looking for their first wins of the season.
Swallows v Forest
NEWLY promoted New Monze Swallows have struggled so far and are desperate to get a first win to spark confidence in the players and can fancy their chances against the inconsistent Ndola side today.
Forest on the other hand has Perry Mutapa as coach who can pick up wins when less expected.
Tomorrow Kabwe Youth Academy hosts Nchanga Rangers and Kitwe United welcome Nkwazi while Zanaco’s match against National Assembly has been postponed as the bankers will be in Morocco for the CAF Confederation Cup second round second leg against Raja Casablanca on Wednesday.