Confident Zambia take aim at Botswana

Zambia will square off with Botswana in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Thursday.

Kick-off is at 6pm CAT.

Chipolopolo are oozing confidence having recorded three successive wins during the previous international break as they defeated South Africa and Ethiopia (twice) in friendly matches.

However, Zambia are placed fourth on the Group H standings without a single point having played two matches which were against Algeria and Zimbabwe.

RB Salzburg centre forward Patson Daka will be missing after the Zambia international picked up an injury in the Uefa Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid last month.

Milutin Sredojevic, the Zambia head coach, is confident that they can cope without their key striker when they face Botswana.

“Zambians have no reasons to expect me to cry about that unfortunate situation that happened to Daka,” Sredojevic said.

“We should all give total support to Patson to recover as soon as possible and we should rather refocus on other available players that will wear the Zambian scoring boots in the double-header against Botswana.”

Meanwhile, Botswana are winless in nine matches across all competitions having succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Algeria in their last game which was the 2022 Afcon qualifier in November 2019.

The Zebras are placed third on the Group H standings with one point from two matches which were against Zimbabwe and Algeria.

Botswana were boosted by the arrival of England-based midfielder Renee Batlokwa and Malta-based winger Kabelo Seakanyeng ahead of the encounter with Zambia.

“The team is also boosted by the arrival of Kabelo Seakanyeng who joins after completing a mandatory quarantine period.”

“Renee Batlokwa has officially joined the team today after being released from quarantine,” a Botswana Football Association (BFA) statements read.

The last match between Zambia and Botswana was on 3 August 2019.

It was Zambia, who emerged victorious as they beat Botswana 3-2 in the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.