Zambia are on the verge of qualifying for the Africa Cup quarterfinals when they face Libya in both sides penultimate Group A match in Bata this evening.
Herve Renard’s side needs just three points to secure their last eight place with a game to spare.
Zambia have three points after beating Senegal 2-1 in their opening Group A match on January 21 in Bata to shoot to the top of the pool.
“We need to make one more step towards qualification,” Renard said.
The game has added significance to Zambia who met Libya in the qualifiers on the road to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in Group C.
Libya were unbeaten against eventual Group C toppers Zambia who were then under Italian Dario Bonetti winning 1-0 in the first leg in Tripoli in October, 2010.
Marcos Paqueta’s side later finished scoreless at Nchanga Stadium in Chingola in both sides final Group C game to see Libya secure a comfortable second place and qualify as one of the best three runners-up.
Paqueta said it would be a well-balanced game again.
“I saw Zambia’s first game they defended with almost six players two strikers moving together and two players in the middle who joined in attack.
Zambia team played well balanced but they also felt the weather,” Paqueta said.
Walid el Khatroushi and Mohamed Djamal will need to be at their best in attack while goalkeeper Samir Aboud must step up his game in-between the post after a poor match by his very own high standards in their 1-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea last Saturday .
Meanwhile, Zambia will be banking on the form of their key playmaker Rainford Kalaba of DR Congo club TP Mazembe who had an outstanding game against Senegal.
Striker Emmanuel Mayuka who has been on fire in the Swiss League at Young Boys where he has scored 11 competitive goals in all competition should also start as he targets his second ever Africa Cup goal in as many games.