Mponda gets ‘clean bill’ of fitness, Kanyenda skipper

Flames coach Kinnah Phiri has kept his cards close to his chest on the final squad to face Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles in Saturday’s swim or sink battle on who will join runaway leaders Botswana to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Kinnah was expected to name his final squad of 18 to 20 players for this crucial encounter but says he will keep the full 25 member squad in camp.

“I know which players to feature on Saturday but I would rather keep all of them till match day. The morale in camp is high and I wouldn’t want to destroy it at this point” he told Nyasa Times without explaining further.

Commenting on the availability of captain Peter Mponda, Kinnah says the player has been certified fit for the encounter after impressing and making remarkable progress on his fitness but says he will be on the bench.

Flames; Full squad

“He has picked up on his fitness since joining camp and if the need arise,we might throw him into action. He is a fighter and an inspirational but we also need to be cautious,” he said.

The Flames mentor says the technical panel felt pushing Peter in the first eleven would be suicidal looking at how long he has been on the sidelines due to injury at his club Santos.

With Mponda not on the starting eleven, stand in captain Esau Kanyenda will lead his troops in the battle for three points in what has been described as a “final” looking at the importance of the game.

Both teams have recorded 10 points each in the five-team Group K, with the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia enjoying a slight advantage having scored a goal more than their closest rivals after both teams have conceded the same number of goals.

Here is Nyasa Times probable line for the game on Saturday.

Goalkeeper: Simplex Nthala

Defenders: Moses Chavula, Limbikani Mzava, James Sangala, Harry Nyirenda,

Midfielders: Davie Banda, Robert Ng’ambi, Atusaye Nyondo, Frank Banda.

Strikers: Esau Kanyenda,Russel Mwafulirwa

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