• Says Zambia is the team to beat in Group B
•Algeria appoints Serbian coach
By George Aluo, with agency report
Zambia’s soccer legend, Kalusha Bwalya has declared that his country could spring the mother of all surprises in Group B of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Zambia has Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria to contend with as she seeks to make her World Cup debut in Russia.
Bwalya who was the captain of Chipolopolo when they lost to Nigeria in the final of Tunisia 94 Nations Cup told Zambia’s soccer federation official website that he is confident his country would rise to the occasion against favourites Nigeria, Algeria and Cameroon.
In his words: “Zambia always play better against big teams. World Cup draw is always difficult. [Friday’s] draw was no exception for every team and every group. As for Group B, Chipolopolo has had the better of Cameroon and Nigeria in the past.”
Bwalya, however, confessed that Zambia has never had it easy against Algeria.
“Algeria has always given us some sleepless nights,” he said.
He was quick to add that what Zambia need do is to prepare well and make a good start in the very first game against Nigeria at home.
“We need to prepare early, put everything in place and get ‘good’ results and set the pace in the first two games then we are up and running. The bigger the names of the opposition, the better Zambia plays.”
Bwalya stressed that he has confidence in the present crop of Chipolopolo players insisting that they could take Zambian football to the next level.
“ I have confidence in this group of players. Anything can happen in this group.It’s tough but it can be done,” Bwalya concluded.
Meanwhile, Algeria has appointed former Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac as her new national coach.The Algeria Football Federation announced it appointed the 62-year-old as a long-term replacement for Christian Gourcuff who stood down from the position in April.
Rajevac is best known in Africa for coaching Ghana’s national team, guiding them to within a penalty kick of the 2010 World Cup semi-finals in South Africa.
The Serbian coach also previously managed Qatar’s national team.
The Algerian Federation confirmed Rajevac had signed a contract on Sunday.
The Federation also stated he would be in Algeria in mid-July, when he is set to be officially introduced to the world’s press.
Algeria was drawn in a challenging group for the World Cup qualifiers on Friday, featuring alongside Nigeria, Cameroon and Zambia in Group B. The group matches kick off in October.
Rajevac will also guide Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon next year.