Nkana begin life in the brief absence of key striker Walter Bwalya on Friday when they visit Nchanga Rangers at Nchanga Stadium in Chingola.
The 2016 Golden Boot winner has been slapped with a three-match ban by FAZ for improper conduct in the 2017 Charity Shield final match against Zesco United on April 2 that they lost 2-0.
Bwalya has already made a statement in 2017 scoring two goals in Nkana’s opening three competitive games this season.
But Coach Zeddy Saileti insists they will adjust without their influential and prolific striker.
“We are ready for this game, it’s a very important match for us, as you know we drew the first game so this is a must-win game,” Saileti said.
The onus will be on Ronald Kampamba and Fred Tshimenga to lead Nkana’s attack as they also seek to redeem themselves after their 1-1 home draw against Nakambala Leopards last Sunday in Kitwe.
And the news of Bwalya’s absence should be a huge relief for Nchanga who have suffered from his wrath in all their last three successive defeats at the hands of Nkana in which the striker has scored four goals.
They include the lone goal in the 1-0 home loss in Chingola in the two sides last meeting last September and a brace in Nkana’s 4-2 home win in the first leg in April, 2016.
Meanwhile, financially beleaguered Nchanga have an uphill battle after starting the 2017 season with a 3-0 away loss at early leaders Napsa Stars last Saturday in Lusaka.
They also trace their last win over Nkana to June 27, 2015 when they beat their guests 1-0 in Chingola.