Green Buffaloes make their first return to continental football on Saturday night when they visit El Masry in a 2018 CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round, first leg fixture in Port Said, Egypt.

The Lusaka side return to continental action for the first time since 2008 when they reached the second round of the same competition where they were eliminated by Highlanders of Zimbabwe.

Buffaloes head to Egypt seeking a rare point away in North Africa where they have never won or drawn a match.

The army club last trip to the region was also to Egypt where they lost 2-1 in the second round of the 2007 CAF Confederation Cup to bow out 3-2 on aggregate at the hands of Ismaily.

Prior to that, Buffaloes had lost 4-1 away to Tunisian side Club Africain in the 2003 CAF Cup quarterfinals after a 1-1 home draw in Lusaka.

Ten years earlier, Buffaloes lost 3-1 to record eight-time African champions Al Ahly of Egypt during 1982 Champions Cup quarterfinals to exit 3-2 on aggregate and see the latter go on to collect their debut continental title.

But Coach Bilton Musonda is confident his side will hold their own against Hossam Hassan’s team and finally end their winless drought away in North Africa.

Musonda will be banking on the recent return of four key players from 2018 CHAN duty with Zambia to get a favourable away result.

Striker Friday Samu, defender Adrian Chama including midfielders Jack Chirwa and Mike Katiba, who all saw action in Morocco, are in the travelling party.

“It’s good we have a number of experienced players in the team. We have international players,” Musonda said.

“I am sure they will help us, we need to win.”

The final leg is set for February 21 in Lusaka with the winner advancing to the penultimate knockout round to face either against Simba SC of Tanzania or Gendarmerie Tnale of Djibouti in March.

[Read 12 times, 1 reads today]