The Zambia Women’s National Team will start their COSAFA Women’s Championship title defence this afternoon when they face off with Mozambique in a group B clash.
Zambia beat South Africa 1-0 in the final last year to clinch their first regional showpiece.
Coach Bruce Mwape will however not have a number of players at his disposal starting with skipper Barbra Banda who is back at her base in China.
The team is made of only local players with a number of Red Arrows players missing due to military training.
Assistant Coach Florence Mwila says the team is ready for the tournament and knows that everyone will come prepared to beat them.
“We are ready, we have come prepared because everyone will give it their best trying to beat the best (the defending Champion), ” she said.
“The girls are pushing, there is a lot of competition which is very good.”
Leticia Lungu could continue between the sticks after her impressive showing in the first of the two friendly matches against Morocco last month.
Ng’ambo Petronella Musole and Loveness Tonge will provide alternatives for the technical bench.
At the back Lushomo Mweemba is expected to lead the defensive block alongside Judith Soko at left back, and Esther Siamfuko.
Vast Phiri, Pauline Zulu, Jackline Nkole or newcomer Thelma Cheela could partner Lushomo Mweemba.
In midfield Susan Banda and Evarine Susan Katongo are expected to continue their partnership.
On the wings Comfort Selemani could be joined by either Enelesi Phiri or Salome Phiri.
Upfront Maylan Mulenga, Natasha Nanyangwe, Agnes Phiri, Sarah Jere and Rita Mwila Kaoma will battle for a starting slot.
Kick off at the Lucas Moripe Stadium is set for 15h30 and the match will be live on FIFA+ and SuperSport.
Zambia is using the tournament as preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifiers and the TotalEnergies CAF Womens Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2024 qualifiers.
In the second round of the TotalEnergies CAF Womens Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2024 qualifiers the 2022 bronze medalists will tackle Angola.