Zambia battles a wounded Elephant on Thursday evening in Marrakech when they face Cote d’Ivoire in their penultimate Group B match at 2018 CHAN.
Group B leaders Zambia head into the crucial match after a hard-earned 3-1 victory over bottom placed Uganda on Sunday.
Third positioned Cote d’Ivoire on the other hand return to action following a 1-0 loss to second placed Namibia.
That loss was even more painful for The Elephants after Namibia stole a dramatic winner deep into stoppage time of the 90 minutes.
“We should not be complacent because we are playing a wounded team that lost at a very bad time in the last seconds before the end of the game and they are really hurt,” Nyirenda said.
“They will come at us and they are physically big but our boys have what it takes to run them down.
“The team is looking confident and the day will be ours.”
Another three points for Chipolopolo will see them through to the quarterfinals for a third successive time from as many outings with a match to spare in Group B.
But Zambia have fitness concerns with striker Alex Ng’onga a doubt due to a groin injury he sustained against Uganda.
“Ng’onga still has a groin muscle problem the doctors are working around the clock to see what they can do,” Nyirenda said.
Green Buffaloes Friday Samu who replaced him in the 53rd minute is likely to start in that eventuality.
The good news is Zesco United defender Simon Silwimba is back in training after he sat out Monday training following a knock he sustained in the dying minutes of Sunday’s game.
However, midfielder Godfrey Ngwenya will again not be part of the team as he continues his recovery from a knee injury he sustained in Zambia’s 3-1 friendly win over Orlando Pirates on January 10 in Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, this will be Zambia and Cote’d Ivories’ second meeting at the tournament.
Zambia beat The Elephants 3-0 in 2009 in the group stages at the inaugural tournament Cote d’Ivoire hosted and where Chipolopolo finished third.