The Warriors will face South Africa in their first game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the National Sports Stadium in Harare this afternoon.
Here is everything you need to know about the match.
Competition: 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, 2nd Round – Group G Matchday 1
Date, Kick-off time & Venue: Friday 3 September 2021, 3 pm CAT at National Sports Stadium in Harare.
*No fans will be allowed inside or near the match venue.
How to watch the game:
The game will be available to watch on TV and stream feeds.
For those based in South Africa (or have access to national stations), SABC has confirmed it will bring the action live on SABC 1 and SABC Radio Stations.
FIFA TV YouTube channel will deliver a live stream feed but only to selected regions.
ZBC TV hasn’t yet announced its position while SuperSport TV will not bring the coverage of the encounter.
Warriors team news
Zimbabwe will field a weakened side after several regular first-team players withdrew from the squad. These include Warriors vice-captain Ovidy Karuru, Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, Wigan Athletic defender Tendayi Darikwa, Luton Town striker Admiral Muskwe, Bournemouth fullback Jordan Zemura and Houston Dynamo defender Teenage Hadebe.
Other key players who failed to travel for the qualifier are Macauley Bonne, Brendan Galloway, David Moyo, Knox Mutizwa and Butholezwe Ncube.
Alec Mudimu picked a knock during training and is a doubt for the match.
Knowledge Musona will captain the national team in the game.
Bafana Bafana team news
South African travelled to Harare without Thabiso Kutumela and Thibeng Phete who tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.
Mothobi Mvala is facing a late fitness test to determine his availability.
Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams is the skipper and will be deputised by Al Ahly’s new signing Percy Tau.
What the coaches said:
Zdravko Logarusic (Zimbabwe): “We have so many problems. First we are playing this game without nine starters. That means we will put a new team for this match.
“The second problem is at the back. We are weaker there because we realised today that Alec (Mudimu) is not ready for the game. That means we don’t have any central defender in the squad. Now we will have to improvise something, and it’s not been easy for us. We have so many difficulties at the back, but we have to find a way to come out with a positive result.”
Hugo Broos (South Africa): “A few weeks ago when we started preparing the team for this important match we knew that it was going to be a tough game and today is not only tough but it is also risky. It is risky because we know that Zimbabwe at the moment has problems with the release of players and that means some of their important players won’t be here for this match.
“So for us this is a risky situation, we could underestimate our opponents on Friday because their important players are not here. We will not do that even if we know that Zimbabwe will not be with the players that they expected.”
Head to Head
The last meeting between the two sides happened in 2013, a friendly match played in South Africa and the Warriors won the game 2-1.
The most recent encounter in the World Cup qualifiers was played in 2000 and Bafana Bafana won both legs.
Stats (Games played since 2000):
Zimbabwe: P 10, W 5, L 4, D 1
South Africa: P 10, W 4, L 5, D 1