By Austin Oduor Otieno,
Kitwe giants and 12 times Zambian league champions Nkana FC travel to Ndola to face on form an league leaders Zesco United as the Zambian Super league enters week 20 in various stadiums across the Copper rich nation.
The much anticipated clash however will be at the Copper mining town of Ndola where the most successful Zambian league side, The Red Devils from Kitwe confronts league leaders and defending champions Zesco United in a Double header at the magnificent Levi Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
This is referred to as the copper belt derby as both teams originate from the copper mining regions.Nkana are from Kitwe while Zesco are from Ndola just 61 kilometres apart.
Nkana who are 10th with 22 points from 19 matches has never beaten Zesco although they came closer to breaking the jinx when the two teams played out to a goalless draw in the first leg, a match the Red Devils dominated.
Cases of Immigration raiding the Nkana camp for possible verification of their two players has taken centre stage with the officers arresting two Congolese players plying their trade at Nkana on loan from Forest Rangers for allegedly not having valid work permits to play for the club. The two players, Fred Tshimenga and Diego Apapene have been at Forest Rangers for long and only moved to Nkana during the mid-season break.
However the immigration officials have cleared the two players plus another two and will feature in today’s clash with Zesco. The four are Congolese duo of defender Diego Apanane and striker Fred Tsimenga, Ghanaian midfielder Osman Kamil and Kenyan striker, Jacob Keli.
Forest Rangers, the source of immigration raid will interestingly play earlier at 1pm against NAPSA stars at the same stadium before the giants take to the pitch. Forest Rangers are just a point ahead of Nkana with 23 points with a game at hand while NAPSA Stars are rooted at the bottom with 12 points from 17 matches
At the Sunset stadium in Lusaka,8th placed Lusaka Dynamos will play host to 15th placed Nchanga Rangers in a 1 pm Kick off while 3rd placed Zanaco at 35 points entertains 6th placed Green Buffaloes at 3 pm in the same stadium.
National Assembly lying on the relegation zone at 14th place with 15 points will be at the woodland stadium to face 7th placed Red Arrows at 3pm while 13th placed Green Eagles will be at the Independence Stadium in Choma to battle 5th placed Mufulira Wanderers.
At the Edwin Imboela stadium in Lusaka,Nkwazi at 6th place will entertain 12th place Konkola Blades at 3pm.
The only match on Sunday will be at The Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe where 2nd placed Power Dynamos will lock horns with 14th placed Nakambala Leopards at 3pm
Meanwhile Football Association of Zambia had earlier on awarded Zesco three points and 3 goals for the aborted match against Mufulira Wanderers. It also ordered Wanderers to play their next 6 home matches 60 kilometres away from Shinde Stadium. They were also fined K5000 with its two assistant coaches suspended for the next two matches and fined each K2000