Bwezani predicts who will finish in the top six at mid-season and qualify for Barclays Cup – and thinks Power Dynamos could be in trouble this season
I also believe Buildcon are already out of the running
As things stand, Zesco United and Green Buffaloes are running away with the two slots, and will be firm favourites to claim the only Cup game in the country this far
Behind them are Zanaco and Nkana, who are doing catch up and look set to join Zesco United and Green Buffaloes in the Barclays Cup. Nkana academically are third with the expected three points and three goals from the Red Arrows abandoned game.
Four gone and two for grabs
If you look at the table, you will realise that seven teams are now fighting for the remaining two slots remaining in the Barclays Cup that is if we all agree that the top four are gone. From the seven teams, I think Buildcon lost the opportunity with their loss in Choma against Green Eagles and that result alone brought Green Eagles into the picture. Buildcon are out as their maximum points can only get to 30 and I do not see other teams giving up on their games to allow Buildcon to crawl back in the top six by week 19.
Buildcon are out.
Kabwe Warriors look set to grab one of the two slots remaining and they take on Kabwe Youth Soccer Academy in Week 18 before travelling to Kitwe United in Week 19. A win this coming weekend against two mate KYSA takes the team to 32 and depending with other results, it could just be enough for the Kabwe outfit though they need to get a result away in Kitwe in Week 19 to be sure.
Kabwe Warriors are in
Power Dynamos are two points behind Kabwe Warriors on 27 points and the only way they could be in the Barclays Cup is picking six points in their next two games against Green Buffaloes away and Buildcon at home. That is not possible for me.
Power Dynamos are out.
Lusaka Dynamos know what they have to do if they want to be in the Barclays Cup, They have to win all their games in hand, and get at least four points in week 18 and 19. I do not see that possible and hence Lusaka Dynamos will miss out in the 2018 Barclays Cup.
This leaves Green Eagles, Nkwazi and Forest Rangers fighting for that last spot and now I take you through the three teams in the chase
They are very close yet too far and their last two games are not a walk in the pack. They host Nkana this weekend and go away to Zesco United in week 19. They need maximum points and hope Nkwazi drops points. I do not think that will be possible. Green Eagles are out.
Are on 26 points and play Buildcon and National Assembly in their last two encounters and they need the maximum points to play Barclays. They are equally out as I do not see them managing that treat. Forest Rangers are out.
Hence has the best opportunity among the seven teams fighting for the two slots, their next home game against Lumwana is very key and a win will be very important for Chris Kaunda if they want to get back in the competition that they played in the final of the 2016 edition.
Hence, my six teams to play Barclays Cup this season are as below:
Here we go, it is really tight. It is a difficult one to call. Power Dynamos are out of it for me. Kabwe Warriors in fifth, they’ve got a big game against Kabwe Youth Soccer Academy.
I think ZANACO are going to be the next best team in the second round with Zesco United trotting across Africa while Green Buffaloes struggling for consistency. It is whether Zanaco can get their ship in order I suppose, as we know Zesco United have quality, they are a settled team, they have a good system, a great manager. They look good going forward.
It looks at this moment in time that Kabwe Warriors are the team that are going to have to fight hardest to finish in that top four getting into the second round. Otherwise, the current traditional top four looks set
Will come back with the Projection of the Barclays Cup from Division One Zones.