Kinshasa, December 10th, 2021 (CPA) .- Coach Christian Bracconi of FC Saint Eloi Lupopo relies on the experience and youth of his players to face TP Mazembe, Saturday at the Martyrs of Pentecost stadium, in Kinshasa, on the occasion of the derby lushois counting for the 4th day of the 27th championship of the National Football League (LINAFOOT). Christian Bracconi, who said Friday at a pre-match press conference held at the headquarters of this sports entity on Friday, only regrets that this derby has been distorted due to its relocation to the capital. “This shock loses some of its flavor because it does not only concern the players on the field. A derby is also worth everything that surrounds it in a sporting confrontation. For Lupopo, the absence of his home crowd is a shortfall, « he said, pointing to Mazembe as the favorite. “Mazembe-Lupopo is quite a story. It is also an opposition of styles between the two coaches, followers of the beautiful game. Whatever one says, in my opinion, on paper, Mazembe leaves favorite because of his experience. Today the context is different. Lupopo will do everything to cause him problems, especially since we have been in a positive dynamic of victories since the start of the season, while knowing that the issue should not take over the game ”, a- he confided while saying he was happy to have a collective resulting from a mix between the experience of the elders and the ardor of the youth. “In Lupopo, I combine the experience of the elders with the ardor of youth. The former are there for the supervision of young people. The contribution of elders like Patou Kabangu, Youssouf Mulumbu or Matampi Vumi, is of capital importance both on the field, on the bench or off the field through the message he transmits to his team-mates”, concluded Bracconi, who expressed the wish to see Congolese football win at the end of this match because it goes beyond even the meaning of a derby.
Franck Dumas, Mazembe coach: « Our offensive problem is 3 months old »
“The game was relocated for various reasons. But a derby remains as it is because it encompasses a lot of things with duels, intensity and the will to do better on both sides. We know that the Mazembe attack caused problems for CAF clubs. This is my first derby at the head of the technical staff at Mazembe. Anyway, for this game, strategically, I’m not going to weigh in on what we do against Lupopo. I am dying to live it. It’s an important and special game for Lupopo but also for Mazembe. Unfortunately, it will be without an audience. I know what Lupopo is. I have played a lot of derbies as a player but also as a coach. I don’t have any concerns for the players. I’ll be worried if we don’t have scoring chances on the pitch. This is a concern nearly three months old, especially since we have resolved not to recruit the attackers. By mutual agreement with the president, we decided to keep the same workforce with the incorporation of young people. I knew from the start that we had offensive problems. We trust the players in place and the youngsters ”. “We brought in 27 players not for tourism. Everyone will play especially since we will have 5 matches to deliver. But Trésor Mputu has this experience with derbies. I am not taking anything away from his qualities as a footballer and a competitor. I only regret that he minimizes his work. I brought him because he may be needed for a game of this importance. He can help us. The fact that he is with us means everything. I cannot tell you whether or not he will take the field. Nonetheless, he has a lot of experience to serve us. I will decide his fate in relation to his physical form « .
Two opponents still undefeated
It is for the first time in history that a championship match between these two Lush giants will be played in Kinshasa. Mazembe (25 points, 9 matches) is ranked 2nd behind V.Club and is credited with 26 units in 10 outings. Lupopo is in 3rd position with 24 points in as many matches delivered. A victory for either will put the winner in the driver’s seat. But, a zero result will not do the good business of the Ravens Lushois, who will propel themselves to the height of the Black Dolphins of Kinshasa.