1. 20th May 2016 Written by: Mattar MBoge ZAMBIA National Team Analysis Report
2. Copyright M A MBOGE (author) May 2016 2 Gambia vs ZAMBIA FIFA Friendly Analysis of formation, style of play, team units, players, strengths, weaknesses Team analysed: ZAMBIA System: George LWANDAMINA prefers a flexible 1-4-4-2 system but can play 1-4-2-3-1 or 1-4-5-1 depending on the game-plan. The team is settled with a strong defensive unit, led by a talented goalkeeper, two hard working central midfielders with pacey and clinical strikers who provide the goals. Squad: This a talented team with some of the players who won the AFCON in 2012, that was built on a strong home-based unit. The team is built around the partnership between SINKALA (8) and KALABA (17) in midfield and the clinical finishing of KALENGO who has four goals in his four games, a goal in each game. There is a question mark over set-pieces and the team has struggled in this area. Style of Play: Emphasis is on passing and movement with a mix of direct play up to the twin forwards and quick transition from defense to attack. They have a very dangerous forward line of KALENGO (10) and MBESUMA (9). At the heart of the team is the flexible midfield pairing of SINKALA (8) and the captain KALABA (17). The team has plenty of pace and power up front and on the wings, with the strikers happy to drift wide in order to create chances. Key features of the team: Good individual technique Strong dribbling skills Ball-winning ability in 1 v 1 situations Attacking power in 1 v 1 situations Ability to change pace suddenly Distinct wing play Athletic players Players with pace
3. Copyright M A MBOGE (author) May 2016 3 LAST FOUR GAMES:- Tactical behaviour: Zambia play a flexible 1-4-4-2 formation. The flat back four is marshalled by two central defenders, SUNZU (4) and either CHAMA (4) or MFUNE (5). The full-back positions are occupied by KABAMBA (3) on the left and KABASO (12) or NKAUSU (6), with the latter often making forays to join attacks. SINKALA (8) is joined in central midfield by the more attack-minded playmaker KALABA (17). Zambia often regain possession in this area because the wingers, MUSONDA (18), on the left and either CHIRWA (14), KATONGO (11) on the right, will drop back into central midfield when opponents are in possession. This keeps the game narrow and makes it difficult for the opposition to cut through the Zambian defence. The two strikers, MBESUMA (9) and KALENGO (10) have few defensive duties. Every Zambian player is comfortable in possession and shows good pace, impressive dribbling skills and excellent fitness levels. The defensive midfielders are responsible for launching attacks with long balls down the middle or diagonally towards the strikers, who will often rotate positions to create space for advancing midfielders such as KALABA and MUSONDA. The two full-backs also join attacks by advancing up the flanks, whereas SINKALA will look to push up from defensive midfield if there are any openings. KALABA and SINKALA have an excellent shot from distance. In general, the Zambians will not be afraid to shoot from outside the penalty area.
4. Copyright M A MBOGE (author) May 2016 4 Zambia Squad for games vs Togo (a), The Gambia (a), Guinea-Bissau (a) *Probable starters in bold Goalkeepers: 16 Kennedy Mweene (Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA), Danny Munyao (Red Arrows), Racha Kola (Zanaco) Defenders: 5 Buchizya Mfune (Green Buffaloes), Stephen Kabamba (Green Buffaloes), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), 6 Davies Nkausu (Free State Stars/RSA), 13 Stopilla Sunzu (Lille/FRA), 3 Chongo Kabaso (TP Mazembe/DRC), Boyd Mkandawire (Napsa Stars) Midfielders: Steward Chikandiwa (Nkwazi), Paul Katema (Red Arrows), 8 Nathan Sinkala (TP Mazembe/DRC), Chisamba Lungu (FC Ural/RUS), Salulani Phiri (Zanaco), 18 Lubambo Musonda (Gandzasar Karpan/ARM), 17 Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe/DRC), 11 Christopher Katongo (Green Buffaloes), Clatous Chama (Zesco United) Strikers: 9 Collins Mbesuma (Mpumalanga Black Aces/RSA), 10 Winston Kalengo (AC Leopards/Congo), Evans Kangwa (Hapoel Raanana /ISL), Conlyde Luchanga (Lusaka Dynamos)
5. Copyright M A MBOGE (author) May 2016 5 Squad Attributes (by unit) GOALKEEPER Kennedy MWEENE (16) has plenty of experience and is the vice-captain of the team and plays in South Africa for newly crowned champions Sundowns, although he is the back-up option. He is known for his penalty-saving and penalty-taking skills and is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in Africa and that Zambia has ever produced, with over 100 caps and he was also awarded goalkeeper of the tournament at AFCON 2012. He has good height and presence and is comfortable dealing with high balls and crosses into the box but is slow coming off his line to sweep through balls. He is very good on the ball, with good technique and strong kicking, he also has good throwing ability. He plays as the reserve keeper in his club so it can be difficult for him to make the step up at international level. The alternatives include domestic-based goalkeepers Danny MUNYAO and Raja KOLA. MUNYAO is the more experienced of the two who is a good shot-stopper and quick off his line. KOLA has similar attributes but has to work on his positional sense, timing and command of the area, he is also yet to gain significant experience at international level. DEFENDERS Davies NKAUSU (6) is their most versatile defender who has the ability to play anywhere in the back-line. Although he is usually deployed at right-back, NKAUSU has also played as a left-back, central defender and midfielder for club and country. He has been praised for his anticipation and timing in order to intercept, with a good workrate and strong in the tackle which allows him to come out on top against most wingers. He is also an agile defender with a long throw which is sometimes used when he is played at full-back. His positioning is a weakness and he can be caught out drifting into midfield and he can also suffer from lack of concentration which leads to him making mistakes. However, he is an attacking threat with the composure, pace and creativity to cause problems when he joins the attack. Chongo KABASO (6) is similar in that he is also quick but poor in the air, even though he has is mainly used as a right-back. He can also be slow to react to danger and can struggle to follow the man he should be marking. Stephen KABAMBA (3) is also extremely versatile and can play at left-back or right-back and is one of their quickest defenders, which he relies on to get him out of trouble, especially when recovering. However, he is not strong in the air and often misjudges the height of crosses into the box, especially those delivered to the far post. Centre-back Stoppila SUNZU (13) is one of the most talented defenders in the team and the player with the highest profile regarded as a hero as he was the player that scored the winning penalty to win AFCON 2012. He is dominating in the air and he is not slow, whilst also not frightened to make a tackle. But he is not just an all-out defender, he is good on the ball and he can also play in a defensive midfield role, but mainly as a spoiler, if anything. His positional sense is suspect however, and he can caught out dwelling on the ball too much at times. He started his career as a midfielder and is confident on the ball but can be guilty of over-playing at times. SUNZU is a defender with brute strength who can easily dominate most aerial duels. He can position himself well in a deep-lying defence by blocking shots and making incisive tackles. He is also an aerial threat in the opposition box at set-pieces (1.89 m, 6 ft 2 in). His size and explosive physicality and athleticism allows him to effectively man-mark opponents. However, he can be over-committed in games and make silly fouls which can cause penalties or for him to be sent off. He sometimes seems to have a lack of command of his own strength as he can be baited into unnecessary fouls or stay on his feet when he is meant to make a more decisive tackle. Buchizya MFUNE (5) is one of the more experienced defenders and usually plays alongside SUNZU but doesnt possess the speed to recover against quick wingers so can be caught out in 1 v 1 situations unless there is a covering defender. He is also strong in the tackle but is also slow when anticipating play and reacting to danger. He also tends to watch the ball and is usually the stopper in a pairing, but goes into challenges without knowing what is behind him. Adrian CHAMA (4) is a relative newcomer to the team and has played in the centre of defence alongside SUNZU and MFUNE so they are yet to find their feet but have struck up a good understanding so far. Boyd MKANDAWIRE is only 19, was part of the AFCON U23 squad and has found himself in the line-up in order to gain experience, he has a lot of potential and is likely to be given game time in order to help him become more comfortable in the national team setup.
6. Copyright M A MBOGE (author) May 2016 6 MIDFIELDERS Rainford KALABA (17) is the captain and is one of the most experienced, talented and important players on the team. He is usually the player that collects the ball from his team-mates, links the play and looks to make things happen. He can play on the left to cut inside but also can play behind the striker the main playmaker. He is usually partnered in the middle by Nathan SINKALA (8 or 19) who is also combative, aggressive and determined. The two work very hard and are also very familiar with each other considering they are also club-mates and this partnership provides solidity, creativity and power in the middle of the park. Their other options in central midfield havent really been tested due to the strong play of KALABA and SINKALA but this is an area of the team that they rely on heavily. Lubomba MUSONDA (18) plays on the left but can also play right or throug