9 November 2012

Zambia/Ethiopia: Renard Wary of Ethiopian Striker

CHIPOLOPOLO coach Herve Renard says Zambia needs to be wary of the threat posed by Ethiopian striker, Saladin Said when the two sides clash in the opening 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group C match.

And the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has announced that Southampton striker, Emmanuel Mayuka is expected to be the last player to join Zambia's pre-2013 Africa Cup camp in January.

FAZ spokesperson, Erick Mwanza said the association was expecting almost a full house after December 26 when the Chipolopolo head to South Africa for pre-AFCON camping.

"We will literally have all our players in December when we want them with the exception of Emmanuel Mayuka because of the nature of the Premiership. We are trying to see if he can be released a little earlier.

"It is a matter we are exploring, but we are already preparing ourselves to expect him as our last man to arrive in camp," Mwanza told MTNFootball.com.

Mayuka won the golden boot at the 2012 AFCON finals where he netted three goals.

And Renard says Zambia needs to be wary of Ethiopian striker, Said when the two sides clash in the opening Group C match.

The African champions will face Ethiopia on January 21 at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, South Africa, to kick-off their title defence campaign.

Renard singled out Said as the player to look out for and that the Chipolopolo should be careful.

He said he watched the Egypt-based player in action and described him as a rising star.

"We have to be careful; they have some very good players like one striker Said (Saladin). I think he is one of the best players in Africa, so we have to be very careful," Renard told MTNFootball.com.

Said, 24, is Ethiopia's top scorer this year with three goals from six qualifiers, including a 1-1 draw against South Africa in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match.

He also scored a goal in Ethiopia's 2-0 home win over Sudan which saw the 1962 AFCON champions book their ticket to the continental finals for the first time since 1982.

Apart from Ethiopia, Zambia will also contend with two-time champions, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

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