Africa Cup of Nations – Zimbabwe Preview

 

 

Playing squad

Most of their goalkeeping and defensive options are players based in Africa and I have to admit my own personal knowledge of them is limited. However, the biggest name in these areas is left back Costa Nhamoinesu who plays his club football for Czech side Sparta Prague. I’d expect Zimbabwe to be dynamic and fast at the back but they could be prone to mistakes. A key man for them in midfield is sure to be Marvelous Nakamba and ‘The Warriors’ will hope he lives up to his name!

Zimbabwe do have some interesting attacking options. Their most valuable player is officially striker Knowledge Musona who plays for Belgian second division side Oostende. His scoring record there is quite good and 16 goals in 38 games for his country is quite impressive too. Zimbabwe also have Khama Billiat & Matthew Rusike upfront who could be worth keeping an eye on. As aforementioned, most of the squad is based in Africa and they are the sort of team who could maybe spring an unexpected surprise with a couple of guys making a name for themselves.

Draw & outlook

Guinea, who reached the quarter finals of the 2015 African Nations Cup were expected to qualify from Zimbabwe’s group, but it was actually Swaziland who unexpectedly became their closest rivals. The Warrior’s lost just once and scored 11 goals so ensure their first appearance at this competition since 2006. Quite a lot of uncertainty surrounds the team and off field preparations haven’t been ideal, with all of the players involved in a pay dispute with the Zimbabwe FA. On the field, they’ve drawn a stinker of a group and will have to contend with Algeria, Senegal & Tunisia. It’s likely they won't pick up a single point against either of those teams but Zimbabwe might at least be competitive. They look to have decent pace upfront and could be dangerous on the counter attack. Their lack of ability will probably show through in the end though and nobody is expecting them to go far in the competition.

Group prediction: 4th