24 January 2013

Zambia: Chisamba in Race to Be Fit

AFTER dropping some points in the opening 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group C match against Ethiopia in South Africa, title-holders, Zambia yesterday stepped up preparations for tomorrow's crunch tie with arch rivals, Nigeria.

However, Zambia's preparations were hampered by the absence of dribbling wizard, Chisamba Lungu, who sat out of training yesterday at the Ka Nyamazane Stadium after bruising his left leg on Monday.

Lungu, who also missed Tuesday's unwinding training session, sustained an injury on his shin bone during the match against the Walya Antelopes at Mbombela Stadium which ended in a 1-1 draw.

According to a statement from the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) yesterday, the team's medical team advised coach Herve Renard's technical staff to rest Lungu after assessing him and also getting other experts' opinion.

The Russia-based midfielder is however expected to resume training today.

Chipolopolo team doctor, Joseph Kabungo said should Lungu's return to training today be without pain in his left leg, then he would be declared fit to face Nigeria's Super Eagles tomorrow at 17:00 hours.

While Chisamba sat out, the rest of the squad undertook full training sessions with an eye on tomorrow's clash against Nigeria.

Renard's men are hoping to build on from the first point collected in the opening match and stake their claim for a quarter-final berth.

FAZ said the Chipolopolo players were in high spirits and went through their paces with some renewed enthusiasm.

During yesterday's morning training session, Renard allowed the media to watch the squad and also take pictures.

However, no interviews were granted as Renard had a scheduled official pre-match Press conference today at the team's Protea Hotel base this afternoon.

On Tuesday, the Chipolopolo appeared in good spirits during their first training session after the Ethiopia match.

And after a thorough review of the Super Eagles' drawn first match against Burkina Faso, Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi has promised to ring some changes in tactics for the Zambia game.

According to the Vanguard newspaper, Keshi hopes his plot would help him win the match if the players implemented at least 70 per cent of his strategy.

Group C is tight with all four teams tied on a point apiece, making tomorrow's tie a crucial encounter for Zambia and Nigeria.

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