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Zesco Eyes CAF Champions League Away Win In Eswatini

Zambian champions Zesco United are confident of victory when they face host Royal Leopards in their preliminary round first leg of the 2021/2022 CAF Champions League in Eswatini on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 18h00 CAT.

The Team Ya Ziko is making a return to continental football after being out for a season when they finished outside the top four teams in the 2019/20  Zambian football season in controversial circumstances.

Zesco won the Zambian Super League season beating the closest rival Zanaco with 16 points marking their return to continental football in style.

The Zambian will be facing the Eswatini giants for the first time in history and the second Southern African kingdom side recent years.

Their last trip to Mbabane came in May 2018 where the Zambians settled for a 1-1 draw against Mbabane Swallows before registering a a 3-0 victory that’s to Lazarus Kambole’s first half hat trick.

The Team Ya Ziko coach Numba Mumamba declared his charges ready for Saturday’s game and he is well aware of the threat posed by Leopards.

“I must say our preparations have been going on very well since we started our pre-season and the team is read for the challenge ahead of us. We don’t have injuries in the team which is a positive sign for us,” said Numba.

“We expect a very tough game. They are a very good side, but we equally have a better side. We have the man power to get us a positive result. We have picked the best players for this game.”

Meanwhile, Royal Leopard booked their place in African Champions League after finishing top of 2019/2020 MTN Premier League.

Leopards will face their first Zambian opponents in ten years after eliminating Red Arrows from the preliminary stage of the 2012 CAF Confederation Cup.

Edwin Matsebula, the Leopards coach, says they have to claim maximum points at the Mabuso Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon if they are to have chances of making it to the second round of the preliminaries.

“We are doing all our best to be in the right shape on Saturday as we are going for a tough match. Zesco United are one of the big clubs and it is unfortunate that it is a club that we have never played against and we don’t know much about them,” Matsebula told Times of Eswatini.

The winner between Zesco and Leopards will play either GD Sagrada Esperanca of Angola or Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum in the pre-group stage.




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