The two countries have a history when it comes to qualifying for CHAN.
They met in round two back in 2009, Zambia overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit to knock the Zebras out 3-1 on aggregate.
Fast-forward ten years to last month and the Zambians once again had the better of Botswana, defeating the Zebras by a solitary goal in the COSAFA Final at Moses Mabhida Stadium in South Africa.
Despite dominating the game, the Zebras failed to convert their chances and were sunk by a 78th-minute header from Tapson Kaseba.
Although his charges lost the game. Coach Teenage Mpote will take great heart from their performance.
With revenge firmly on his mind, Mpote has made a number of changes to the squad
for Friday’s crunch game, bringing in Gape Gaongangwe, Tumisang Pule, Mbatshi Elias, utility player, Tapiwa Gadibolae, and full back, Alford Velaphi.
Meanwhile, Thataya- one Kgamanyane has asked Mpote to release him as he goes for trials in Dubai while Thato Kebue is on trial at Black Leopards in South Africa.
Speaking to Voice Sport, Mpote said he expects his boys to deliver as they have had plenty of time to prepare.
He revealed they, had an international friendly with Lesotho and was impressed by the players’ response.
“We played them last month and now we have an idea of what we should expect and work on. We were just unfortunate to concede in the last minute of the game. This is a totally different game and we will go all out for revenge!” said Mpote, adding he
believes it is an advantage to be playing the first leg at home.
“Players now understand my philosophy so they are not struggling to gel. Zambia is a strong opponent. We understand their style of play so we have prepared accordingly,” said Mpote, who has happy recent memories of playing in Francistown, where he lifted the Orange FA Cup with Orapa United in June.
Mpote said though the league is on break, he is happy with players’ level of fitness, with most of them playing in pre-season friendlies for their clubs.
He pleaded with Batswana to attend the match in large numbers to give the team morale support.
The game kicks-off at 7 pm, with tickets available at all Shoprite and OK Furniture stores. Prices range from P40 grand stand, P30 eastern stand and P20 everywhere else.