Vilified striker Alex Ng’onga is back in the spotlight this Saturday when Power Dynamos host their arch rivals Nkana in the big Kitwe derby at Arthur Davies Stadium.
Maligned for his greatest misses show against Nigeria in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B qualifier that Zambia lost 1-0 away on October 7, Ng’onga will be seeking home comforts when Power face Nkana.
This will be Ng’onga’s first derby back in a Power shirt since 2014 before he joined CS Mounana of Gabon in 2015.
Ng’onga returned to Power in January 2017 but was only cleared to return to Arthur Davies in July when Mounana agreed to his transfer.
Between July to date, Ngonga’s six goals and numerous assists been the catalyst of Power’s top five placing as he lightened the void left by Fwayo Tembo for Lusaka Dynamos in July and led to his now contentious Chipolopolo recall.
Ng’onga returns in search of his first derby goal since June, 2014 that ended 1-1 away before Power lost 2-1 at home in October that term.
And Ng’onga is also expected to carry Power’s burden this weekend after they struggled in a 1-1 away draw at Nchanga Rangers that they secured through an 82nd minute Michael Banda equalizer on October 8 while he was away in Nigeria.
Power is also under-pressure to maintain their four-derby unbeaten run against Nkana in which they have collected three wins and a draw.
This season’s first leg meeting saw Power rally from one-down to beat Nkana 2-1 away across the road in Wusakile.
But the man who scored both goals for Power in that match, Martin Phiri, will miss final leg due to a family bereavement in Lusaka.
However, Nkana too have their own concerns in attack.
Walter Bwalya has been blowing hot and cold since his hat-trick four games ago in a 4-0 home win over defending champions Zanaco on September 3.
Some comforting news is that Ronald Kampamba returns after a two-month lay-off due to a hamstring injury sustained in a 1-0 away win over City of Lusaka on August 27.
Meanwhile, victory for Nkana or Power is essential with eight games left.
Power and Nkana are 5th and 6th on the on 52 and 49 points respectively.
Ahead of them are Zesco United (4th), Lusaka Dynamos (3rd), Zanaco (2nd) and leaders Green Buffaloes who have 52, 53, 54 and 56 points respectively.