Monday, January 4
*Uganda Vs Zambia – 6pm
*Cameroon Vs Niger – 8pm
Uganda and Zambia will go head to head in Yaounde, Cameroon at the ongoing Pre-CHAN Mini Tournament.
Both sides picked a point in their respective opening games with the Cranes made to dig deep after going a man down against Cameroon.
This tournament is intended at fine tuning the four participating teams ahead of CHAN Finals that kickoff on January 16.
Uganda Cranes head Coach Johnathan McKinstry has confirmed that he will ring changes to his starting eleven so that every player on the team gets a chance to play.
“Going into this game, will help us give every player a fair chance during the tournament but we will make changes and we expect our opponents to do the same,” Mckinstry told FUFA.
The biggest sub plot of the game will be Zambia coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovich who was at Uganda Cranes before departure in 2017.
He also coached Rwanda, which is Mckinstry’s previous job.
“Tomorrow, I will come up against an old friend for both Uganda’s football and me personally,” Mckinstry added.
“My relationship with Micho goes back I think with time while I was with Sierra Leone and he was coach for Rwanda.
“When we arrived here in Cameroon we exchanged New Year’s messages and X-mas Greetings. We have known each other for several years. I am looking forward to seeing him. But for the 90 minutes of the game we will be trying to do the best for our respective teams. After the match we can share chat of old times. We both have objectives for our teams.”
Mckinstry will need the same fighting spirit the boys showed after going down to a Ben Ocen red card against Cameroon when Milton Karisa scored an equaliser for the opening draw.
However, against Zambia, the Northern Irishman will surely fancy his chances and will call upon the players to avoid a frustrating start to the game.
Ocen sits out after a red card while Paul Will and Halid Lwaliwa who missed the first game are expected to be drafted back into the 23-man squad for Zambia.
Probable Lineups – Alionzi Nafian, Paul Willa, Aziz Kayondo, Hassan Muhamood, Halid Lwaliwa, Saidi Kyeyune, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Ibrahim Orit, Shaban Mohammed, Viane Ssekajugo, Joseph Ssemujju.
Micho Has A Lot To Play For
There is no doubt that Micho will want to get one over Uganda, a team he left when he resigned in July 2017 due to unpaid arrears.
He has been a big follower of Ugandan football and has since remained in touch with some of these players, not to mention officials and some journalists.
He has admitted on various occasions that Uganda is his other home, and no one will also refute when he says that he knows Uganda Cranes in and out.
The Serbian saw his team squander a 1-0 lead, and later surrender a two-goal cushion in the 3-3 draw against Niger.
He will be expected to make changes to the team but star players including Collins Sikombe, are expected to be retained.
The Lusaka Dynamos striker scored a brace, and Moses Phiri was on target as well in that draw against Niger.
Zambia will continue to be without three players – Amity Shamende (Green Eagles), Luka Banda (Napsa Stars) and Harrison Chisala (Nkana) who have club continental engagements.
The Chipolopolo who are pooled in a group that has Tanzania, Guinea and Namibia, will be hoping to go an extra mile in CHAN Finals this year.
Their best placement was a third-place finish in 2009 under coach Herve Renard but made quarter finals in 2016 and 2018 as well.
Goalkeeper Lameck Siame may be given a nod ahead of Charles Kalumba who started against Niger, is one of the expected changes Micho may make.
Probable Lineups – Lameck Siame, Chiboni Kondwani, Adrian Chama, Zachariah Chilongoshi, Golden Mwafentwa, Dominic Chanda, Collins Sikombe, Bruce Musakanya, Kelvin Kapumbu, Rodger Kola, Friday Samu.