Zambia and Zesco United defender Fackson Kapumbu says expectations are high on Chipolopolo to reach the 2018 CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals in Morocco.

Kapumbu is one of at least five home-based players who featured prominently in Chipolopolo’s recent 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that are expected to headline Zambia’s campaign at January’s CHAN tournament.

And the Zesco defenders’ recent performances have also received international recognition from the CAF awards selectors’ panel after naming Kapumbu on provisional shortlist of both the 2018 Africa Player and 2018 African-based Player awards.

“At the level the team has reached, and after the performances we produced in our last world cup qualifiers against Algeria and Nigeria, expectations are high for us from the fans to actually win the CHAN,” Kapumbu said.

“They don’t expect us to come back from Morocco without any trophy.”

Zambia are in Group B at the tournament Morocco will host from January 12 to February 4.

Uganda, Namibia and Cote d’Ivoire will be Zambia’s Group B opponents.

Zambia will kick off their Group B campaign against Uganda on January 13 before playing Cote d’Ivoire on January 18 -both those matches will be played in Marrakech.

And Zambia wills wrap-up their preliminary round fixtures against their 2019 AFCON Group K opponents Namibia on January 22 in Casablanca.

This will be Zambia’s third CHAN outing after finishing 3rd at the inaugural tournament in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009 and later reached the quarterfinals at the 2016 tournament in Rwanda.

CHAN is a second tier AFCON tournament exclusively for domestic-based players that CAF first held in 2009.