African champions Zambia insist they have less pressure on their shoulders than South Africa when the countries meet in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Johannesburg on Wednesday
Zambia captain Christopher Katongo is seeking to take some of the burden of expectation off his side ahead of the game at Soccer City, a key African Nations Cup warm-up for both teams, even though as the last tournament winners Zambia have a lot to live up to.
"South Africa will be under more pressure than us because the players will want to prove to the coach that they deserve to be part of that final squad for the Nations Cup," Katongo said, when Zambia arrived in the country.
"(Bafana) have new players and a new coach, and they have to make things happen at Soccer City on Wednesday. The South Africans will want to come out and play 100 percent for their coach. But pressure is always there and you cannot run away from it.
"We know that they (Bafana) are trying to rebuild their team and this game is important for the South Africans."
Katongo said they did not know much about the current Bafana squad and have relied on what they have seen online and in newspapers for their preparations. But he saw it as a work in progress and that the new coach will be desperate to beat the reigning African champions, especially at home.Katongo does have an intimate knowledge of South African football from his time at Jomo Cosmos as do many of his teammates.