Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic admits the onus is on Chipolopolo to shame their doubters in Thursday’s penultimate 2021 AFCON Group H qualifier at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Chipolopolo must beat Algeria to keep alive their final push for a top two finish with two games left heading into Thursday’s late night kickoff.
But Zambia is slumped bottom of Group H on 3 points, one point behind Botswana while their final Group H opponents Zimbabwe are second on 5 points.
Visiting Algeria has qualified with two games in hand on 10 points.
Chipolopolo also heads into the game hoping to become the first team to end the defending AFCON champions 22-match unbeaten run.
But most importantly, victory will see Zambia avenge the humbling 5-0 away loss they suffered in the first leg on November 14, 2019 in Blida.
“There is no bigger motivation than playing reigning African Champions. We need to stretch our whole human sports limits so we know what it takes. Knowing that so many people outside has so many doubts,” Micho said.
“We want all the doubts to be put away, we have clear ambition, we want ourselves intact and mathematically in contention by the time we play the last match Harare.”
Victory will keep Chipolopolo in contention heading into their last Group H match away to Zimbabwe on March 29.
“(But) we have no right to think beyond the match of tomorrow,” Micho added.
Meanwhile, the team has some much needed depth that was missing in last November’s unconvincing display in the doubleheader against Botswana that Zambia won 2-1 at home but lost 1-0 away in Francistown.
Striker’s Patson Daka who missed those dates due to injury is back and Brian Mwila returns after a three-year hiatus and has shown signs of old since joining Buildcon in January by scoring 5 goals.
Midfielder Nathan Sinkala also returns for the first time since November 2019 for this do-or-die date.
However, strikers Fashion Sakala and Justin Shonga are out injured.