New Zambia coach Sven Vandenbroeck has named his first 26-man Chipolopolo squad for next month’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Namibia.
Headlining Vandenbroeck’s squad is the return of the TP Mazembe trio of Kalaba, Chongo and Sinkala who were frozen out of the tail of Zambia’s 2018 World Cup qualifying matches under former coach Wedson Nyirenda.
Also returning is defender Emmanual Mbola of Israel Premier League side Hapoel Ra’anana and Armenia-based Lubambo Musonda.
In-form Zesco United forward Lazarus Kambole who struck a hat-trick in last week’s Caf Champions League match away against Mbabane Swallows has also been included.
There has been no place for Power Dynamos forward Alex Ngonga who was a regular under Nyirenda together with Kondwani Mtonga who has been displaced by Sinkala.
Vandenbroeck inherited a team that began their Afcon qualifying campaign with a 1-0 home defeat by Mozambique.
The Belgian coach now leads Chipolopolo against a wounded Namibia side that also lost their opening match 1-0 in Guinea-Bissau.
“I think it is a very important game for both of us. It is a must win for both. We are both at zero points, so if we want to have a chance to qualify, we both have to win," Vandenbroeck told a press conference on Friday.
"If we go and look at the Caf or Fifa ranking, then we are the favourites because we are the highest ranked of all four in our group but circumstances are in favour of Namibia. The reason is that they scheduled the game on an artificial field, they have had a six week camp to prepare for the game and they play at home.
“That is why I see a light advantage for them in the game. That does not mean we will not do everything to win because it is in all our good to bring the three points home.”
Goalkeepers: Toaster Nsabata (Zanaco), Lawrence Mulenga (Power Dynamos) Kennedy Mweene (Mamelodi Sundowns-RSA)
Defenders: Solomon Sakala (Zesco United), Gideon Sichone (Green Buffaloes), Gampani Lungu (Supersport-RSA), Isaac Shamujompa (Buildcon) Luka Banda (Napsa Stars), Stoppila Sunzu (FC Metz-France), Kabaso Chongo (TP Mazembe-Congo), Lawrence Chungu (Buildcon), Emmanuel Mbola (Hapoel Raanana-Israel)
Midfielders: Nathan Sinkala (TP Mazembe-Congo), Sululani Phiri (Polokwane-RSA), Enock Mwepu (RB Salzburg-Austria), Jackson Chirwa (Green Buffalos), Lubambo Musonda (Gangzasar Kapan-Armenia), Clatous Chama (Simba-Tanzania) Spencer Sautu (Green Eagles), Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe-Congo), Bruce Musakanya (Red Arrows)