Battle for second place heats up in Zambia

football12 May 2023 05:35| © Mzansi Football
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Andrew Phiri @Twitter

With Power Dynamos having already sewn up the MTN Super League title, attention now moves to who can grab the CAF Confederation Cup qualification place and avoid relegation.

FC MUZA are currently in pole position for second place with 50 points, and the result of their abandoned game against Red Arrows potentially still to be awarded in their favour.

They can take a giant step towards continental football next season when they host Zanaco on Saturday, whose upturn in form in recent weeks had all but secured their place in the top division for next season.

ZESCO United are in third on 49 points and hist Nkana FC in an age-old battle in Zambia that always excites.

ZESCO are having a strong finish to the season after a poor first half, while two recent defeats have likely taken Nkana (45 points) out of the running for second place.

In the last 28 league meetings between the sides, ZESCO have won 14 of those, but have lost three of the last four against Nkana.

There is a huge match-up in the race for second place on Friday afternoon when NAPSA Stars (49 points) host Forest Rangers (47 points), with the latter knowing they will likely have to win both their remaining matches to stand a chance of second place.

The last 19 meetings between theses sides have seen seven wins each and five draws, with both teams netting 17 goals. It could not be tighter. The same goes for games at Stars, where there are three wins each and three draws, with 10 goals scored each.

Green Buffaloes looked odds on for second place earlier in the campaign but 16 draws from 32 matches has stunted their progress, though on 48 points they remain in the hunt.

That is especially so as they go to hapless already relegated Buildcon on Saturday where they look an away banker for the three points. Buildcon have won two out of 32 games this season and lost their previous eight games, conceding 35 goals and scoring none (one of those results was a walkover 3-0 win).

Green Eagles (49 points) are also still in the mix as they host Red Arrows (46 points).

Two of the four relegation places have been decided with Buildcon and Chambishi already down, and it now looks like it is three teams fighting to avoid taking the other two spots.

Lumwana Radiants (33 points), Nkwazi (35) and Nchanga Rangers (36) are the teams still in danger.

And Radiants host Nkwazi is a real relegation six-pointer where defeat for the former could see them go down, if Rangers also get a point at Kansanshi Dynamos on Sunday.

In other matches this weekend, champions Power Dynamos host Prison Leopards and Kabwe Warriors welcome Chambishi.