Zimbabwe arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday ahead of the 2019 Afcon Qualifier against DRC this evening.
The Warriors will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten run in the campaign and consolidate the chances of reaching the tournament’s finals for the second successive time.
Coach Sunday Chidzambwa travelled with eighteen players and believes his charges are ready for the clash
“I think we are now ready for the battle. Our players have acclimatised well and have put good effort during training. The weather is not very bad, and we will play at night. It will be good for us,” said the coach.
The game is set to be screened live on SuperSport 9A. Live coverage starts at 7:15 pm while kick-off time for the match is at 7:30 pm CAT.
Khama Billiat and captain Knowledge Musona will lead the Warriors in attacking together with Knox Mutizwa.
There is one change in the midfield from the team that played in Congo last month. Marvelous Nakamba will start alongside Danny Phiri and Tafadzwa Kutinyu.
Tendai Darikwa will make his debut in a competitive match for the Warriors, playing at the right-back while Ronald Pfumbidza takes the opposite wing in the absence of Devine Lunga who picked an injury.
DRC, on the other hand, are expected to field their strongest squad including Everton man Yannick Bolasie who is on loan at Aston Villa.
Warriors XI: G. Chigova, T. Darikwa, R. Pfumbidzai, T. Hadebe, A. Mudimu, D. Phiri, M. Nakamba, T. Kutinyu, K. Musona, K. Billiat, K. Mutizwa.
Today’s encounter will be the fourth between Zimbabwe and DRC since the turn of the new millennium.
There is no clear dominance from either team with the Congolese winning one game while Zimbabwe grabbed the victory in another tie played in 2000. The other game ended in a draw at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cote d’Ivoire.
Zimbabwe 3-2 DRC (03 Sep 2000)
DRC 2-1 Zimbabwe (17 Jun 2001)
Zimbabwe 1-1 DRC (26 Feb 2009)
How it stands in Group G
The top three teams in the group are tied on four points but it’s Zimbabwe on the top due to a superior goal difference.
Atmospheric conditions at the time of kick-off
Temperatures are expected to drop to 26 Degrees Celsius by 7 pm with humid air. The chances of precipitation will be high during that time at 77%. Wind will be blowing at an average speed of 10km/h.
About the venue
The match will be hosted at Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa. The stadium was opened in 1994 and has a capacity of 80 000. It’s also home to AS Vita.
Zimbabwe have been conducting their training session at the match venue since Wednesday.
Stade des Martyrs lies about 17km from the Kinshasa CBD. The pitch surface is made of artificial turf.