WARRIORS coach Callisto Pasuwa will this afternoon announce his squad to face Malawi in a crucial Group L African Nations Cup qualifier set for the giant National Sports Stadium on June 3 with surprises unlikely as he seeks to qualify with a game to spare. Zimbabwe are at the top of the table with eight points, three clear of Swaziland and Guinea who are second and third respectively. “Our Warriors technical team will tomorrow (today) announce the squad to prepare for the Malawi encounter, we will release details of their camping itinerary after that,” said Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela. It is believed the team will troop into camp on Sunday.
The former Dynamos coach is almost certain to call the bulk of the squad that tore visiting Swaziland into shreds on March 28, drilling four goals without reply. Zimbabwe got their goals through Czech Republicbased Costa Nhamoinesu and South Africabased Khama Billiart, Evans Rusike and skipper Willard Katsande. The only casualties in the squad that was called up in March could be young How Mine goalkeeper Donovan Bernard who has not seen much action at the goldminers since the arrival of Zambian gaffer Kelvin Kaindu, ceding his place to Munyaradzi Diya
Highlanders’ number one, Ariel Sibanda might find himself being called up to fight for a place with his Dynamos counterpart Tatenda Mukuruva and Washington Arubi. Mukuruva though is the favourite to once again be the last man in the Warriors defence. A Zimbabwe win and a draw between Swaziland and Guinea or a Swaziland win will guarantee the Warriors a second berth at the continental finals. In the case of the first scenario, Zimbabwe will take their points tally to 11 points with a game to play while Swaziland and Guinea can only end on nine points and on the second scenario, Swaziland will take their tally to eight points meaning even if the Warriors fall in Conakry in their last match, they can still go through thanks to Article 14.1.1 of the rules and regulations of the tournament based on headtohead results between the two.
A win by both Guinea and Zimbabwe will leave the Warriors needing any other draw other than 11 or 00 or a straight win in Conakry for them to book a place in the Gabon finals. It’s an option not to be considered. Probable Zimbabwe squad Tatenda Mukuruva, Washington Arubi, Ariel Sibanda, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Costa Nhamoinesu, Onisimor Bhasera, Elisha Muroiwa, Willard Katsande, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Knowledge Musona, Marvellous Nakamba, Danny Phiri, Khama Billiart, Cuthbert Malajila, Rahman Kutsanzira, Whinston Mhango, William Sitima, Evans Rusike, Tendai Ndoro, Bruce Kangwa, Quadi Amini, Raphael Manuvire, Clemence Matawu, Nyasha Mushekwi and Knox Mutizwa.