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Football | Afcon

Zambia face Norway in friendly



Zambia will play a preparatory friendly match ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations against Norway at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Saturday 12th January.

The match will kick off at 14h00 CAT.

Zambia will use the match to prepare for the defence of the Africa Cup of Nations they won in 2012 while Norway are looking to expose their younger players to international football as well as prepare for the qualification tournament of the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

Zambia Coach Herve Renard believes the friendly match against European opposition will provide an important yardstick by which he could measure his team’s readiness. This will be the first match since Zambia announced the final 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Kennedy Mweene will be in contention to start in between the sticks while Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka is likely to partner skipper Christopher Katongo upfront.

In defence, Davies Nkausu and Emmanuel Mbola will play at right and left back respectively with Hichani Himonde and Stopilla Sunzu in central defence.

Nathan Sinkala and Isaac Chansa will play in front of the back four while Chisamba Lungu will be in contention to start on the right wing. Rainford Kalaba will be deployed on the left wing with freedom to roam in a free role just behind Emmanuel Mayuka and Chris Katongo.

Norway Coach Ogil Olsen will make at least five changes to the team that defeated South Africa on Tuesday. Olsen told fazfootball.com that he would employ a cautious approach that will allow Zambia to dominate proceedings.

“We will play a good defensive organised game. We will allow Zambia to have the ball so we can attack on the counter. We are strong on set play but it will be difficult for us to play our kind of game because in Norway this period is off season and my players are not match fit,” said Olsen.

“We were surprised to win against South Africa. But we think we will be lucky to win against Zambia. A draw will be good.”

“Also the temperature will affect us. In Norway, the temperatures are currently -10 Degrees Celsius but here it is hot so the players have to adapt quickly.”

Olsen added that he was not under pressure to win against the champions of Africa in their own back yard but that he would make sure his charges played well.

“We are preparing for Brazil 2014. We want to have a look at one or two players we can include in the main national football team.”

Goalkeeper Andre Hansen is expected to start ahead of Runne Almenning Jarstein. Defenders Fredrik Semb Berg, Ruben Kristiansen and Jorgen Horn will be key to Olsen’s defensive tactics.

Both Olsen and his skipper Elyounoussi singled out left winger Mohammed Fellah as the player to watch as well as Marcus Pedersen who is expected to partner Elyounoussi upfront.

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