The Warriors of Zimbabwe will travel to Egypt to face their vastly-experienced North African opponents in their quest to reach the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil
Wael Gomma, Fathy, Fathallah, Abdel-Shafty, Aboutrika, El-Nenny, Abd-Rabo, Salah, Nagy, Hassan.
Zvasiya, Mushure, Mbara, Jaure, Mukamba, Billiat, Karuru, Rusike, Mambare, Musona.
The Zimbabwean national team travel to Egypt to face the Pharaohs on Tuesday night, in what is labelled their last chance to reignite their 2014 World Cup hopes, having collected a single point from their last two games.
The Warriors will have every right to worry about the their opponents, because the Egyptians have won all their qualifying matches so far and will be boosted by the support of their home fans.
Egypt will be more determined to continue with their fine form, as they remain the only top African country to have missed the Fifa World Cup in over two decades.
However, the experience of coach Bob Bradley has put the seven-time African champions hopes back on track, and nothing less than three points will be acceptable for the Egyptians, especially with home advantage.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe will be facing their first real test since the suspension of some of their senior players who were allegedly involved in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal, but the Warriors coach Klaus Dieter Pagels has had enough time to prepare life without those players.
The worrying factor for the German-born coach will be the withdrawal of his South African-based strikers in Simba Sithole and Matthew Rusike who are both nursing injuries.
An interesting battle will be between Ajax Cape Town attacking-midfielder Khama Billiat and Egyptian’s most respected midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika. The latter has been the driving force behind Egyptians’ success over the years, while Billiat has been one of the emerging talents the Zimbabwean national team has ever produced in recent years.
Another interesting battle will be inside the Egyptians’ half where Zimbabwean striker Knowledge Musona will be expected to give the likes of Ahmed Fathy a run for their money. Musona hasn’t been getting enough game time at Augsburg in Germany, but he has always been doing well for the national team whenever called up.
Egypt will go into Tuesday’s clash leading their qualifying group with the maximum six points from two games, two and four ahead of Guinea and Mozambique respectively, and five clear of Zimbabwe. The match is in Alexanderia, 180km from the capital.
Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed, Wael Gomma, Ahmed Fathy, Mahmoud Fathallah, Mohamed Abdel-Shafty, Mohamed Aboutrika, Mohamed El-Nenny, Hosni Abd-Rabo, Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Nagy, Ahmed Hassan.
Washington Arubi, Lincoln Zvasiya, Ocean Mushure, Augustine Mbara, Partson Jaure, Denver Mukamba, Khama Billiat, Ovidy Karuru, Tafadzwa Rusike, Masimba Mambare, Knowledge Musona.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Egypt remain the only team to have collected maximum points in Group G after two games.
- Zimbabweans have failed to score in their previous two games but they also proved to be tight at the back, having conceded just one goal in the process.
- The last time Egypt and Zimbabwe met was in 2006, when the Pharaohs beat the Warriors by 2-0.
- Egypt still hold a record of seven Afcon trophies since its inception, and are the only nation to have won the same trophy three times in a row between 2006 and 2010.
- Despite their dominance in African football, the Egyptians have never been in the Fifa World Cup since 1990.