Friday Jun 04, 2021. 10:00
Polokwane City midfielder Salulani Phiri says their second-string Zambia side must show real heart against hosts’ Senegal’s big guns in Saturday’s friendly in Thies.
Chipolopolo are visiting Senegal on the first stop of a three-match friendly tour that will also take them to Benin and Sudan.
However, Zambia are without all of their big foreign-based names like Patson Daka, Enock Mwepu and Fashion Sakala who have been given time off to deal with their summer transfer window contractual obligations back in Europe.
Others have dropped out either due to injuries, pressing end of season league dates at their respective clubs or on compassionate grounds like Tanzanian -based midfielder Clatous Chama of Simba SC who lost his wife on May 29.
This has left coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic with just five out of the fourteen foreign-based call-ups in his 22-member team on the tour.
“Senegal is a big nation; it is a giant in terms of football so I think looking at our local professionals they need to get an opportunity to play big games against players like Sadio Mane and others,” Salulani said.
“Of course every game needs to be won, we have to win, and we have to play with our hearts. The coach and management has done everything, it is up to us to pay-back.
“It is very important; we have not done well (in the AFCON qualifier). We also need to be playing such big teams; we need to play good teams, so that we know where we stand.”
Chipolopolo are unbeaten against Senegal in their last two meetings that include a group stage win at 2012 AFCON en route to lifting the title at the tournament co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The two sides later met in a friendly over a year later on August 14, 2013 at Stade Municipal in Paris that saw Senegal rally to earn a 1-1 draw.