Zanaco return to continental action this Sunday after a two-year hiatus with an assignment in DR Congo against DC Motema Pembe in a 2029/20 CAF Confederation Cup Group B opening game in Kinshasa.
This is The Bankers third group stage campaign in continental competition and coach Mumamba Numba’s second in charge as coach of the seven-time champions.
The Bankers will face their biggest test in this season’s competition when they meet the 1994 CAF Winners’ Cup champions and 1994 CAF Super Cup runners-up.
Zanaco enjoy 100 percent start in the competition after winning all four of their knockout round matches against easy opponents Bolton City of Mauritius and Cano SA of Equatorial Guinea.
But Zanaco’s continental form is in contrast to their domestic run where they are 11th and on the same number of points from eight games and three matches in hand with just three league wins so far this term.
Zanaco travelled to Kinshasa a on back of a 3-2 Lusaka derby defeat at the hands so second placed Napsa Stars on November 23 just four days after drawing 1-1 with Green Buffaloes when the league resumed after the two-week international break.
Zanaco will also be without captain and defender Ziyo Tembo suffered a head injury against Napsa and who is interestingly their joint top scorer in continental competition on three goals with Roger Kola and Guily Manziba who are in Kinshasa.
The captaincy, in Ziyo’s absence this Sunday, has been handed to Chipolopolo goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata.
In Ziyo places, Numba has opted for an attacking option recalling influential attacking midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike to the fold after he was frozen out of the team in their last two games since returning from the international break.
Meanwhile, DCMP are currently second on domestic front with one loss with 25 points and just a point behind unbeaten leaders and their archrivals from Katanga TP Mazembe.
But unlike Mazembe and their Kinshasa archrivals AS Vita, with whom they played out to a 1-1 derby at home on November 24, DCMP have not enjoyed perennial group stage success.
DCMP, who have two wins, a defeat and a draw in this seasons CAF Confederation Cup, return to the league stage for the first time since 2011 when they finished third in Group B of the same competition.