The Zimbabwe Warriors will be hoping to cause an upset when they plunge into battle against the Black Stars of Ghana on Saturday at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, in their 2022 World Cup qualifier.
Norman Mapeza (pictured), who will take charge of the Warriors for the first time since replacing Zdravco Logarusic after the Croat managed one win in 14 games, has rallied his Warriors as they try to breath life into their faltering campaign where they have picked a single point from their first two matches.
“Yes, there is pressure. But, it’s the most important game in our campaign. It’s important to collect points in this game if we are to revive our World Cup campaign,” Mapeza said on Monday this week.
Milovan Rajevac also returned for a second stint with Ghana.
The Warriors are bottom of Group G after losing against Ethiopia away and holding South Africa to a goalless draw at home in the first two rounds last month.
Ghana sits second in the group with three points after losing to South Africa and beating Ethiopia.
The back-to-back ties between Ghana and Zimbabwe will be decisive for both teams as a draw in either game may hinder their hopes of qualifying from the group for the playoffs.
The Warriors will host Ghana in the return fixture three days later in Harare.
The Warriors are confident of winning in Ghana following the return of United Kingdom-based players, Jordan Zemura, Brendan Galloway, Marvelous Nakamba and Tendayi Darikwa as well as the United States-based Teenage Hadebe, who all missed the last two matches.
The Warriors started trooping into Ghana in batches on Tuesday this week.
Leading the pack of the first arrivals would be captain Knowledge Musona, who will hit the Accra soils on Tuesday after a weekend in which he grabbed a goal in his team’s 2-1 win over Al Taawoun.
France-based Marshal Munetsi of Stade Reims, who arrived in Harare over the weekend, joined the technical team and the locally-based players who left Harare on Wednesday for the crucial tie.
The Ghana trip comes after a weekend in which members of the Warriors shone for their clubs with even defender Brendon Galloway scoring in his team’s 2-2 draw with Lincoln City.
Goalkeepers: Washington Arubi (Marumo Giants), Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF), Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars).
Defenders: Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutais), Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle), Bruce Kangwa (Azam), Onismor Bhasera (SuperSport), Rahman Kutsanzira (FC Platinum), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo), Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan)
Midfielders: Blessing Sarupinda (Sekhukhune), Farai Madhanaga (Marumo Giants), Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kuda Mahachi (SuperSport), Marshall Munetsi (Reims), Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Never Tigere (Azam), perfect Chikwende (Simba SC), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco),
Strikers: Knowledge Musona (Al-Tai), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates