Chipolopolo Zambia return to 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying action on Thursday when they battle to restart their Group B hopes away to Equatorial Guinea in Malabo.
Second placed Zambia’s game comes after suffering a setback on match-day-two when Group B leaders Tunisia beat them 2-0 at home on September 7 in Ndola.
Zambia are tied on 3 points with Equatorial Guinea who are third on goal difference while leaders Tunisia have 6 points and are in action at home late on Thursday evening against Mauritania who are bottom on zero points.
Chipolopolo’s loss to Tunisia came after a promising start to their Group B qualifiers when they beat Mauritania 2-1 away on September 3.
But Chipolopolo coach Beston Chambeshi remains confident they can rebound and also maintain their good away form despite September’s setback at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
“We have talked to the players, there is no pressure playing away from home. All we need is just to go and express ourselves and enjoy the game,” Chambeshi said.
“They have to play like they are at home because nowadays there is no home ground advantage; it is the way you plan. I believe that the boys will come out and show their character.”
Chipolopolo need to use their away game to their full advantage considering that the UK-based duo of Patson Daka and Fashion Sakala will not be available for the Group B doubleheader home leg match on October 10 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Patson and Fashion are returning to the UK immediately after Thursday’s game because they are not fully vaccinated and would have to undergo ten-day quarantine if they returned to Britain via Zambia.
Meanwhile, striker Evans Kangwa who is in camp is ruled out of the Malabo game although Chipolopolo’s medical team has indicated the Russian-based players’ hamstring injury would heal in time for Sunday’s final leg.
These developments come in the wake of Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu’s absence due to a groin injury but the good news is Clatous Chama of RS Berkane in Morocco is available and set to start in his place in the October doubleheader.