ZIMBABWE WARRIORS will play South Africa’s Bafana Bafana when the neighbouring countries square off in a 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier at FNB Stadium tonight.
The Warriors are out of contention for a place in the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers, while Bafana Bafana are firmly in the running.
By the time Zimbabwe and South Africa meet under floodlights at the iconic 2010 Fifa World Cup final venue, Bafana Bafana could be under pressure should the Black Stars of Ghana win beat the Walias of Ethiopia at Orlando Stadium this afternoon.
A win will take Ghana to the top of the group and if South Africa fail to beat the Warriors, the Black Stars could hold the aces when they meet Bafana Bafana on home soil on Sunday.
Noman Mapeza warned his opponents that his side is not there to handout freebies.
The former Chippa United notes that Thursday’s match will double up as preparations for the Afcon finals at the beginning of next year.
“We have a mixture of young guys and seniors, so we are expecting a tough game tomorrow. We know our position and know Bafana Bafana’s position, so I think it is going to be an exciting game tomorrow(today). The issue is on building a team that can go and take part at the Afcon so that is why we have brought in some young players along with senior players. The main purpose is to prepare for the Afcon finals in January,” says Mapeza.
Warriors coach Norman Mapeza is casting down talk that this is a dead rubber for his team.
“That is what you guys [the media] call it but for me, there is nothing like a dead rubber in football because we need to restore our pride. We need to win and bring back the confidence to the nation and the players. So, there is nothing like a dead rubber to me,” Mapeza told local media.
Khama Billiat, the Warriors’ captain for today’s assignment, feels there is a huge responsibility on him and the Warriors in a tone indicative of a team with a renewed sense of belief.
“It’s a huge responsibility and as professionals we have to do our best. I am going to try not to put myself under pressure and play the way the coach wants us to play,” said Billiat.
FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari looks certain to start in goals for the Warriors, with Takudzwa Chimwemwe, Bruce Kangwa, Gerald Takwara and former Everton defender Brendan Galloway forming his shield.
In midfield, Mapeza is likely going to field Marvelous Nakamba, Blessing Sarupinda, Kelvin Madzongwe, Billiat and Ishmael Wadi.
Scotland-based striker David Moyo will spearhead the attack.
Warriors’ probable line-up
Petros Mhari, Takudzwa Chimwemwe, Bruce Kangwa, Brendan Galloway, Gerald Takwara, Kelvin Madzongwe, Marvelous Nakamba, Blessing Sarupinda, Ishmael Wadi, Khama Billiat (captain), David Moyo
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