Bantu say they’re battle ready

Bantu say they’re battle ready

MASERU-Lesotho champions Bantu are raring to face Zambian counterparts Nkana in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League at the end of this month.

Bantu are scheduled to host the first leg between November 27 and 29 before the second takes place in Kitwe between December 4 and 6.
Should Bantu progress to the first round they will face either Akonangui of Equatorial Guinea or Angola’s Atlético Petróleos de Luanda for a spot in the group stage.

The draw for the 2020/21 Champions League was made on Monday in Cairo, Egypt, and Bantu head coach Bob Mafoso said he expects a very physical game when ‘A Matšo Matebele’ take on Nkana.
Both teams are giants in their own countries and boast impressive trophy hauls but the chance for both teams to make history makes the tie even more compelling.

Nkana will be making their third appearance in the CAF Champions League having participated in 2000, 2002 and 2014, and like Bantu, haven’t made it to the group stages.
Bantu will be motivated going into the tie and will be looking to build on their 2018/19 run when they eliminated Botswana’s Township Rollers in the preliminary round before falling in the first round.

Bantu know that only four games stand in the way of becoming the first-ever Lesotho club to reach the group stage because if they get past Nkana, only one more two-legged tie would be left to hurdle.
“It is going to be a challenging game,” Mafoso said.
“(Nkana) are playing with about seven internationals from different countries and have three Zambian internationals, it is going to be a physical game, you know our brothers,” he added.

While Bantu are likely to be a closed book to the Zambians, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ are already studying their opponents as the Zambian league has already started.
Nkana have already played three leagues winning one, drawing one and losing one. Their victory came this past Saturday when they edged Kabwe Warriors 1-0.

Bantu, on the other hand, have not been playing competitive games as the league is yet to start and Mafoso said it is something they are also thinking about.
The Mafeteng giants have been in training and played a friendly match against Likuena recently but Mafoso said they are looking to play more friendly matches before they take on Nkana.

“They have played three games (in the Zambian league) and have not changed their line-up and then you can already see they are consistent, they have already built relationships, but we believe in our players. We also have international players in our squad who are training and played friendly matches for Likuena,” Mafoso said.

“By the time we play Nkana, our players that are with the national team would have played two competitive games so that will help us, we are confident in ourselves,” he said.
With a seven-month layoff since Bantu’s last competitive action, Mafoso said the main concern for him is to have a full squad for the game against Nkana.

He said he is hoping his players can avoid injuries. Mafoso would prefer to have all players training with the team.

Tlalane Phahla

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