By Amakye Ansah
#24. Zimbabwe 🇿🇼
Nickname: The Warriors
Last AFCON Appearance: 2019
Coach: Norman Mapeza (Zimbabwe)
Skipper: Knowledge Musona
Best AFCON Results: Group stage
Player to watch: Tinotenda Kadewere
CAF Rankings: 31
FIFA Rankings: 121
Zimbabwe will dream of making it to the knockout stage of the competition for the first time. Their previous four AFCON appearances have all ended in a group stage exit. They finished bottom of the group on each occasion. Zimbabwe has won 2 AFCON games in 12 matches: 2-1 against Algeria in 2004, 2-1 against Ghana in 2006. They have lost 8 and drew 2. Is it the tournament Zimbabwe will finally qualify to the Knockout Stage?
The Warriors of Zimbabwe are heading to the AFCON in a disastrous form. They are winless in their last 7 competitive games. How will Norman Mapeza get the best out of the beleaguered Warriors?
31-year-old Kaizer Chiefs deadly forward Khama Billiat (retired), Wigan captain Tendayi Darikwa (personal reason) and Aston Villa midfielder Marvellous Nakamba (injury) are all missing.
Zimbabwe still has decent players to do the business for them. Skipper Knowledge Musona of AL Tai FC, Lyon star Tinotenda Kadewere, David Moyo of Hamilton Academica, Teenage Hadebe of Houston Dynamo and Bournemouth’s Jordan Zemura are all top players Zimbabwe can rely on.
The Warriors will play against Senegal, Malawi and Guinea in Group B. With much determination, Zimbabwe can make history.
The core of the team
Talbert Shumba of Chapungu United will be in between the sticks. The former Free State Star keeper has been a regular for The Warriors of Zimbabwe.
Bournemouth left-back Jordan Zemura is a delight to watch, Houston Dynamo centre back Teenage Hadebe: blessed with enough pace and power will lead Zimbabwe at the back.
In the absence of Marvellous Nakamba, expect Platinum midfielder Kelvin Madzongwe to be the main man in midfield.
David Moyo, Knowledge Musona and Tinotenda Kadewere are very good attackers to help Zimbabwe fulfil their dream.
Talbert Shumba (GK)
Jordan Zemura, Teenage Hadebe, Onismor Basera, Gerard Takwara (DF)
Kelvin Madzongwe, Thabani Kamusoko, Ismael Wadi, Mahachi (MF)
Knowledge Musona, Tino Kadewere, (ATT)