The 25-time Tanzania champions face a huge blow with notable strikers, Donald Ngoma and Amissi Tambwe, ruled out due to injuries. There have been 23 goals between the pair in all competitions this season.
Yanga assistant coach, Juma Mwambusi insists there is depth in his team’s squad and is convinced the replacement for the unavailable player will live up to the billing.
“It happens in football. Sometimes we get good moments and sometimes big challenges. We accept the challenge that we will miss six key players for such a crucial CAF Champions League clash.
“We have a deeper squad to make up for the void. It is vivid that others might not be of the same quality as the absentee but we expect good display from them. We saw something in training and if they keep with the pace, I am sure we will win the game,” said Mwambusi.
Yanga is inspired by the current form of Zambian import, Obrey Chirwa in their quest for a positive outing. Chirwa has scored eight goals in his last eight games and is the capital-based club’s top marksman this year.
Mwambusi also noted that the good weapon they possess is that head coach, George Lwandamina has good knowledge of their opponents as they are from his home country, Zambia.
Lwandamina enjoyed memorable coaching career in his home country with the peak being guiding Zesco United to last four of last year’s CAF Champions League.
“It is a good thing for us. He knows how they play, their strength and weaknesses too. It is not enough to win the game but it is important for us. We take the game serious and we hope for the best,” he said.
On his part, Yanga captain, Nadir Haroub, says they have respect for Zanaco as record shows that they eliminated Yanga, at the same stage a decade ago.
“We know them, though ten years has passed. We hope they are as strong as they were. We expect a tough game but it is our turn to take revenge,” said the skipper.
The return leg will take place at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday, 18 March 2017, with the winner after both legs advancing to the prestigious group stage.
Friday, 10 March 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) vs KCCA (Uganda)
Saturday, 11 March 2017
USM Alger (Algeria) vs RC Kadiogo (Burkina Faso)
Esperance (Tunisia) vs Horoya (Guinea)
Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) vs Mounana (Gabon)
Young Africans (Tanzania) vs Zanaco (Zambia)
Al Ahly (Egypt) vs Bidvest (South Africa)
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Rivers United (Nigeria) vs El Merreikh (Sudan)
Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) vs AS Tanda (Cote d’Ivoire)
Ahly Tripoli (Libya) vs FUS Rabat (Morocco)
Ferroviario Beira (Mozambique) vs BYC (Liberia)
Zamalek (Egypt) vs Enugu Rangers (Nigeria)
Ports Authority (Gambia) vs AS Vita (DR Congo)
Coton Sport (Cameroon) vs CNaps (Madagascar)
TP Mazembe (DR Congo) vs Caps United (Zimbabwe)
AC Leopards (Congo) vs Saint George (Ethiopia)
El Hilal (Sudan) vs AS Port Louis (Mauritius)