Nkana coach Kelvin Kaindu hopes Sunday’s away win in continental action in Tanzania has left them with enough fuel to face Forest Rangers this Thursdays at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.
The defending FAZ Super Division champions return to league action four days after they beat Namungo FC 1-0 away in Dar es Salaam in a CAF Confederation Cup Group D match that saw them collect their first points in the league phase of the competition.
Third from bottom Nkana are now unbeaten in their last two competitive games since drawing 2-2 at home against Green Buffaloes on April 1.
But Nkana hosts a bruised Forest side that has slipped from fourth to sixth following a 2-1 Ndola derby loss to Buildcon last Sunday.
However, Forest comes into the game seeking to complete a double over Nkana after beating them 2-0 in Week One on October 31 in Ndola.
“We are meeting them (Forest) when they are coming from a derby loss. We know what Forest are capable of doing. I think they are a team that you cannot predict,” Kaindu said.
“They have been enjoying some good form of late while we have been struggling especially in the league but we are hoping the win in the Confederation Cup will give us an advantage.”
But Nkana will continue to be without striker Simon Mulenga who sustained a hamstring injury in the comeback draw against Buffaloes.
The good news is that the experienced striker Fred Tshimenga is back after three weeks out due to injury.
Tshimenga’s return is also a massive boost ahead of Nkana’s Group D final leg fixture against Namungo on April 11 at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Meanwhile, both sides desperately need the three points on Thursday.
Nkana especially have been eternally wallowing in the bottom four relegation zone this season on 21 points from 18 games with four matches in hand.
They are also four points behind fellow continental envoys Napsa Stars who sit on top of the drop zones trap door.
Forest on the other hand have lost ground after collecting 4 points from their last three matches and are two points behind three teams on the fringes of the top four as the race for those prized continental spots heats- up with twelve games left.