Zesco United coach Alfred Lupiya says they are bracing themselves for a hostile reception away to Nkana in this Saturday’s big Copperbelt derby showdown.
The two struggling giants meet in the first leg of this season’s Copperbelt derby at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe with bragging rights more than anything at stake as both their 2023 ABSA Cup qualification hopes look bleak.
With three games left before the mid-season ABSA Cup cut-off point, Nkana sits on the bottom four relegation trap-door in the 14th spot on 16 points.
Zesco is 10th with 20 points and with a very marginal chance of making the projected 28 point threshold.
“We need to be prepared psychologically, mentally and physically. You know the atmosphere at Nkana, you know the environment there so we need to be prepared,” Lupiya said.
Zesco beat Nkana in their last meeting with a 2-1 win at home in Ndola in their final leg last season on February 19.
This is after losing 1-0 in Kitwe to suffer back-to-back defeats last year.
Zesco traces its last away win at Nkana to four meetings ago in the 2020/2021 season where they won 2-1 on January 17, 2021.
“Nkana-Zesco is a big rivalry, it is a big game. We expect a very tough match it won’t be easy but we have prepared adequately,” Lupiya said.
“The boys know what is at stake and we need to collect maximum points by working extra hard.”