Nkana resume their 2019/2020 league campaign this Wednesday when they host Zanaco at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.
The record 12-time champions are currently fourth, tied on 43 points with defending FAZ Super Division champions Zesco United, who replaced them at number three last Sunday following a 1-1 home draw with struggling Kansanshi Dynamos.
Victory for Nkana will see them to join leaders Forest Rangers on 46 points who are not in action due to a reportedly 28 Covid-19 cases in their camp that saw their July 18 home date against Zanaco postponed.
Nkana return to action from the four-month lockdown hoping to continue where they left off in March with a 1 -0 home win over Kabwe Warriors after earlier drawing 0-0 away at Kansanshi.
But their date against Zanaco is about redemption after The Bankers beat them 2-1 in the first leg on January 15 away in Lusaka in a rescheduled Week 8 game.
“We have looked at our position and where we are and looked at our remaining games. We were going through analyzing the teams that we are going to face and the players know the importance, they know that especially tomorrow’s game is very critical and we need a positive result,” Nkana coach Manfred Chabinga said.
Chabinga, though, has warned Zanaco not to underrate Nkana despite the visitors losing just one competitive game in Chris Kaunda’s thirteen match-old reign.
Interestingly, that loss to Zanaco in January was also under Kaunda in his second game at the helm before beating Zesco 3-0 in the next league fixture in Lusaka.
“Definitely if you looked at the teams that played on Sunday and Saturday, they were not 100 percent fit (because of the long break),” Chabinga said.
“They are not going to be the same as where they ended from.”
Zanaco are currently 10th on 35 points with four games in hand and are eight points outside the top four and eleven points adrift of leaders Forest.
Meanwhile, Nkana will be without Shadreck Musonda who has a cut on his forehead while Kenyan defender Musa Muhammad has yet to report for duty from the four-month lockdown.