Some players of the Chipolopolo of Zambia have said that their team has to be well prepared to confront the Super Eagles of Nigeria
With three victories against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in their last three matches, the Super Eagles may be said to hold a slight psychological advantage over their Group C opponents when they meet on January 25, 2013 at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
This advantage was confirmed by words from two stellar members of the Herve Renard-tutored side; Stophira Sunzu and Rainford Kalaba.
Sunzu came second to Mohammed Aboutreka in the African Player of the year award for players based in Africa on Thursday in Ghana and memorably scored the penalty that won Zambia the 2012 Nations Cup in the final against Cote d’Ivoire.
"We are the champions of Africa right now and when we go into the game against Nigeria, we have to summon the courage to fight them all-through,” Sunzu told TribuneSports .
They are not easy to beat. Our chances rate 30 to 70," Sunzu added.
Kalaba, a member of the Zambian winning squad in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea in February corroborated Sunzu’s views.
“Every time, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and even Cameroon are in the Nations Cup; they are the favourites.
"Sharply, we hope to turn the table against Nigeria but like I always say, both Nigeria and Zambia may end up losers if we think too much of this clash and care less of the upset Burkina Faso and Ethiopia can cause."
Nigeria starts off her campaign in South Africa with a clash against Burkina Faso on January 21; will then face Zambia on January 25 and conclude their group stage matches with a clash against Ethiopia on January 29 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
The home-based players have opened camp in Abuja and the coach, Stephen Keshi has said that the list of the Europe-based players that are to be invited will be released next week.
The team is expected to leave for Portugal on December 23, with a friendly match against Catalonia slated for January 2, 2013 at the Estadi Cornella El Prat in Barcelona.