AFCON 2017 Preview: Zimbabwe v Senegal

AFCON 2017 Preview: Zimbabwe v Senegal

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The Warriors face an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout stages after slipping to a somewhat unfortunate 2-2 draw against Algeria in their opening Group B match.

Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring for Algeria, but Midfielder Kuda Mahachi equalized before Mushekwi nodded the Warriors ahead in that fixture and Zimbabwe appeared set to kick on thereafter.

However, Algeria came roaring back after surviving a major scare when Cuthbert Malajila missed a sitter to equalize through the EPL best player Mahrez completing his brace.

Senegal, 2-0 winners over Tunisia in their first round of matches, can be expected to pose a stiff physical test for Callisto Pasuwa’s men at Franceville.

The last meeting between Senegal and Zimbabwe, was in AFCON 2006 Group D encounter that took place in Egypt, with Senegal emerging 2-0 winners.

Victory on this occasion would be enough to secure Senegal’s progression to the quarter-finals.

While the Senegalese appear to be favourites not just for the match but the entire tournament, the Warriors are not to be taken likely and the match against Senegal is the most anticipated following the Zimbabwean show against Algeria.

The Senegalese are the top ranked team in Africa and boast of being the only team to qualify for AFCON with 6 straight wins from the qualifiers – They are unbeaten in over a year. They have a pedigree for scoring goals and winning matches being led by Liverpool’s target man Sadio Mane.

Zimbabwe’s mood in camp

No doubt, the mood in camp is at an all time high. The coach Callisto Pasuwa has been Buoyant, declaring that the Warriors are the Group favourites. Vice Capain Cuthbert Malajila also chipped in to say the team is bubbling with confidence and they are all ready for battle.

Nakamba’s return
Marvelous Nakamba will add more depth to the side as he returns for selection. The midfield missed the opening match due to suspension. However Zimbabwe will miss the services of Knowledge Musona who will be nursing an injury.

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