Zanaco have left for Egypt to play Al Merreikh of Sudan in Cairo this weekend when the CAF Champions League resumes after a month long break.
Al Merreikh are playing their continental matches outside Sudan after the country’s national stadiums failed to meet CAF benchmarks.
The pre-group stage match is also set to test Zanaco’s staying power in the CAF Champions League following a smooth ride from the preliminary stage where the Lusaka club beat Akonangui of Equatorial Guinea 2-0 away and 1-0 at home last month.
“We progressed after beating our opponents home and away and we are hoping to also replicate the same performance in the second round although we all know that Al Merreikh is a formidable club,” Zanaco coach Kelvin Kaindu said on Wednesday in Lusaka prior to departure for Cairo.
Kaindu has carried a solid 20-member team minus 2017 U20 AFCON winning goalkeeper Mangani Banda.
Banda’s place on the list of three goalkeepers in the travelling party has been taken by deputy Chipolopolo goalkeeper Lameck Siame who joined Zanaco this season from Kabwe Warriors.
Meanwhile, Al Merreikh hosts Zanaco on Saturday at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.
The final leg will be played on October 26 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Winner over both legs will qualify to the CAF Champions League group stage that kicks off next February.
The loser will be relegated to the third stage of the CAF Confederation Cup at the end of November where they will have one last shot at earning continental group stage qualification.
GOALKEEPERS: Racha Kola, Lameck Siame, Charles Lawu
DEFENDERS: Kevin Owusu,Joel Kapend, John Mwewa, Ziyo Tembo, Taonga Bwembya, Peter Kalota ,Isaac Shamunjompa
MIDFIELDERS: Boyd Musonda, Abraham Siankombo, Kelvin Kapumbu, Ernest Mbewe, John Sikaumbwe, Ackim Mumba
STRIKERS: Baba Basile, Emmanuel Manda, Evans Katema, Moses Phiri