Zambia’s CAF Confederations Cup envoys Zanaco have intensified preparations for this weekend’s pre-group stage first round tie against Binga.
And the Malian side are expected in Lusaka on either Thursday or Friday ahead of Sunday’s match at Lusaka’s 60,000 capacity National Heroes Stadium.
Kelvin Kaindu’s side will go into the match on the back of a vital 1-0 win over Kafue Celtic in the MTN Super League.
Sunday’s win over the crocs was the bankers’ first victory in the last their last five league matches.
Poor form in the league
The bankers’ poor form in the league has become a source of concern for the board, and a win over Binga might ease pressure on the Kaindu led technical bench which also include former Zambia international winger Henry ‘Teacher’ Banda.
Despite struggling in the league as the 11th on the log with 14 points, Zanaco have a wealth of experience in their ranks.
Rodrick Kabwe and Salulani Phiri rejoined from South Africa.
Veterans Chisamba Lungu, Ziyo Tembo and Moses Phiri are also on the books of the Sunset Stadium outfit.
New signings, defender Isaac Shamujompa, goalkeeper Charles Lawu and striker Emmanuel Manda have caught the eye.
Road to Confederations Cup
The seven times Zambian Champions started the campaign in CAF Champions League and only dropped to the Confederations Cup after losing 4-2 on aggregate to Sudanese giants Al Merriekh.
Zanaco last won the league in 2016.
In the first round, the bankers beat Equatorial Guinea side Akonagui 3-0 to book a date against Al Merriekh.
Binga campaign in the second tier and only qualified for the Confederations Cup after they reached the finals of the 2021 Malian Cup which they lost to Stade Malien.
Since Stade Malien won the league, subsequently qualifying for CAF Champions League.
On the road, Binga beat MC Breweries of Liberia and ASFA Yennenga Burkina Faso in the 1st and 2nd round to earn the right to face the bankers.
Due to lack of finances, Binga had to travel by road in a mini bus to fulfill the away fixtures in Liberia and Burkina Faso.