After three days of meandering through the freezing Baghdad weather, the Chipolopolo boys will finally get the opportunity to prove worthy opponents of their better ranked hosts at the Al Madina Stadium.
Zambia who are ranked 88th in the world, face Iraq who stand at 74th on the global charts with both sides motivated to send the right signal to their followers.
Chipolopolo coach Aljosa Asanovic has lined up an all-local assemblage that will be auditioning for possible inclusion in the upcoming two international friendly matches and the June/July African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers.
Skipper Benedict Chepeshi is expected to lead from the back where several candidates are vying for positions with Dominic Chanda likely to be paired with Solomon Sakala while Miguel Chaiwa may still have a chance to make the starting eleven.
It gets more competitive as you go further with the engine room open to either Spencer Sautu or Donashano Malama while options abound in the creative space.
The hard-working Prince Mumba may line up with the bullish Joshua ‘Budo’ Mutale while Derrick Bulaya and Albert Kangwanda will face competition from the likes of the forceful Alex ‘Bazo’ Ng’onga and Kelvin Mubanga. Others angling to be part of the action are Simon Silwimba, Prosper Chiluya, Shemmy Mayembe, Harrison Chisala and Patrick Gondwe
The match will be officiated by Youssef Saeed, Akram Ali, Jhad Atia amd Ahmed Kazrm.
Meanwhile Iraq coach Abdel Ghani Shahd will hope Saad Abdel Amir and his teammates will honour the Iraqi people with victory in their first home match since their January 1-0 win over Uganda.
Fans are expected to fill up the 33, 000 capacity stadium.
The Al Madina Stadium has not hosted an official match in 30 years with Iraq pressing their case to have their stadia allowed to host official matches.
Kickoff is at 20:00 hours local time (19:00 CAT) today (Friday).
NOTE: A link for the live stream of the match will be provided on the FAZ Facebook page.
Charles Kalumba (Red Arrows), Kelvin Malunga (Nkana), Lawrence Mulenga (Power Dynamos)
Dominic Chanda (Kabwe Warriors), Prosper Chiluya (Red Arrows), Solomon Sakala, Shemmy Mayembe, Simon Silwimba (all Zesco United), Miguel Chaiwa (Shamuel Academy), Benedict Chepeshi (Red Arrows)
Spencer Sautu, Donashano Malama, Chanda Mukuka, Kelvin Kampamba (all Zesco United), Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors), Joshua Mutale (Power Dynamos), Harrison Chisala (Nkana)
Derrick Bulaya (Green Eagles), Patrick Gondwe, Alex Ng’onga (both Nkana), Albert Kangwanda (Kafue Celtic)
Source: Football Association of Zambia