(Sporting Alert) — Burkina Faso continues to be the surprised team in the Africa Cup of Nations Group C and defending champions Zambia can expect no favors against them on Tuesday.
Venue: Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit
Date: Tuesday 29 January
Kick-off: 12:00 ET
Coverage: Live TV coverage on Eurosport and ITV
The two nations will tackle each other on the final day of Group C action, and Zambia know that they must defeat the current group leaders who only need a draw, to ensure progression to the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.
“It’s the final group game against Burkina Faso, so we will soon see what happens next,” said Zambia coach Herve Renard.
“We have our chance and destiny in our own hands. I think we are still capable of qualifying to the quarter-finals.”
Goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene has been influential so far in the tournament and he still has hopes of more on.
“We still have hope,” said the Zambia shot stopper. “We’ll work hard in training, we can’t give up.
“We have to fight, we are the champions after all.
“It won’t be easy, but we can still qualify for the quarter-finals.”
Burkina Faso head Group C with four points and are heavy on confidence after their 4-0 hammering of Ethiopia.
They team, however, will be without veteran goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama, who was sent off in the last victory.
Top goalscorer Alain Traore, who continues to have an excellent Africa Cup of Nations has been backed to score more goals against Zambia, following his two goal outing in the last game.
Burkina Faso head coach Paul Put is delighted with the way his team has been playing so far, but expects a tough game on Tuesday.
“Our first aim arriving here was to do better than in previous Nations Cups,” Put said.
“We’ve already achieved that. That has helped free the players’ minds, it was good for our confidence.
“But we still have to qualify so we are keeping our feet on the ground.
“We need a point against Zambia tomorrow. It won’t be easy against the champions, but we will play with our hearts.
“There is more pressure on Zambia than us.
“It won’t be an easy game but the players have a chance to write history.”
NOTE: Zambia have no wins in the last six outings, including four draws successive draws, while Burkina Faso have only one defeat in its last six. Zambia have won two of the last three Africa Cup of Nations meeting with Burkina Faso. Sky Bet are backing Burkina Faso at 4/5 to win the group with odds of 19/10 to beat Zambia, who are at 7/5 to win on Tuesday.