Bafana Bafana vs Zimbabwe: Players who could be key for the Warriors
Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza has called up the best available squad for this 2022 World Cup qualifier against SA at FNB Stadium on Thursday where they will be looking to upset their hosts.
Zimbabwe’s remaining two World Cup qualifiers against Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia at the weekend in Harare are inconsequential in relation to the World Cup but Mapeza has other ideas.
The Warriors have been eliminated from the running for the World Cup in Qatar next year but Mapeza is using these matches to prepare for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
TimesLIVE examines the three key Warriors players who can win Thursday’s clash against SA at FNB Stadium:
Marvelous Nakamba (midfielder)
It goes without saying that the Zimbabwean team revolves around the expertise of their biggest star Nakamba who comes with English Premiership experience where he turns out for Aston Villa.
Fans are looking forward to Nakamba’s midfield battle with SuperSport United’s Teboho Mokoena who may be partnered by Mothobi Mvala of Mamelodi Sundowns or Sphephelo Sithole of Belenenses SAD in Portugal.
Nakamba is expected to form part of the Zimbabwean central midfield combination with Blessing Sarupinda of Sekhukhune United in their mission to derail Bafana Bafana’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup.
Khama Billiat (midfielder)
Billiat is without a doubt one of the key attacking players for Zimbabwe but coach Hugo Broos must have a clear plan on how to stop him as he has watched closely while scouting Kaizer Chiefs players.
He has been one of the better players for Chiefs this season with two goals and three assists after their ten league matches and he will be determined to inflict harm on Bafana.
Interestingly enough, Billiat is going to find himself in awkward moments during the match as he is likely to come face to face with Chiefs teammates Njabulo Blom, Keagan Dolly and Njabulo Ngcobo.
Knox Mutizwa (striker)
The Knoxman, as he is known by Golden Arrows fans, is expected to lead the Zimbabwean attack with David Moyo of Hamilton Academical in Scottish or Bill Antonio of Dynamos in Zimbabwe.
He has started the league campaign on a low note with Abafana Bes'thende where he has scored only two goals in eight starts but he remains dangerous in front of goal.
If he finds his footing, Mutizwa is going to be a constant irritation to Bafana Bafana’s expected central partnership of Siyanda Xulu and Rushine De Reuck and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.