Tanzania coach Etienne Ndayiragije has cautioned his side to anticipate a tough battle when they face Burundi in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.
The Taifa Stars are scheduled to face Burundi in the first leg in Bujumbura on Wednesday, before the return leg slated for National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on September 8.
The Burundian tactician is aware the game against his native side will be tough and has warned his charges to prepare well if they are to qualify for the next round.
“We are very aware our opponents have a good team, which also participated at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and therefore, must be ready for them,” Ndayiragije is quoted by the Daily News.
“We are training and planning on how to tackle them and I am hopeful we have a squad which can give us a good result from the first leg battle.
"We want to get a convincing win from the away fixture so we can reduce our work when we face again.”
Ndayiragije also confirmed the players named in the provisional squad for the qualifier are responding well to training in Dar es Saalam.
“Our training sessions are going on smoothly and almost all local-based players expect those of Simba SC have reported to camp,” Ndayiragije continued.
Should the Taifa Stars see off Burundi, they will be one of the 14 winners in the qualification play-offs to join the continent’s top-ranked 26 sides, who have been exempted from the preliminary stage of the long journey to Qatar.
African teams will contest a final play-off round in their World Cup qualification campaign, a system last employed for the 2014 tournament, the Confederation of African Football has decided.
Qualifiers for the next World Cup in Qatar will be divided into three stages with two rounds of knockout ties on either side of the group competition.
The 28 lowest-ranked sides on the continent will first contest a knockout round over two legs, with the 14 winners advancing to the group stage. The 28 include Madagascar, who reached the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals in Egypt.
The winners will join the 26 highest-ranked sides in a 40- team, 10-group pool phase which will be played over 18 months.
The group winners will then be drawn into five play-off ties over two legs with the victors qualifying for the World Cup.
Goalkeepers: Juma Kaseja (KMC), Metacha Mnata (Yanga) and Beno Kakolanya (Simba).
Defenders: Shomary Kapombe (Simba), Hassan Kessy (Nkana FC-Zambia), Gadiel Michael (Simba), Mohamed Hussein (Simba), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga), Iddy Moby (Polisi Tanzania) and Abdi Banda (Highlands- South Africa).
Midfielders: Jonas Mkude (Simba), Baraka Majogoro (Polisi Tanzania), Himid Mao (ENPPI-Egypt), Ally N’ganzi (Minnesota-USA), Abubakar Salum (Azam) and Frank Domayo (Azam).
Strikers: Simon Msuva (Al Jadida-Morocco), Eliuter Mpepo (Buildcon-Zambia), Mbwana Samatta (KRC Genk-Belgium), Abdillahie Yussuf (Blackpool-England), Farid Mussa (Tenerife- Spain), Iddy Selemani (Azam), Kelvin John (Serengeti Boys), Ayoub Lyanga (Coastal Union), Shaban Iddy Chilunda (Azam), Boniface Maganga (KMC), Hassan Dilunga (KMC), Mohamed Issa (Yanga) and Abdul Aziz Makame (Yanga).