Sports Mole previews Monday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash between Zimbabwe and Zambia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Meanwhile, the visitors will not be featuring in the tournament after what has been a disappointing qualifying campaign.
Following a 3-3 draw against Algeria on Thursday, Zambia’s hopes of booking their place at next year’s finals in Cameroon were dashed.
That stalemate provided just a fourth point in five games for Milutin Sredojevic‘s men who remain at the bottom of Group H.
However, the Chipolopolo could finish the group in third place should they manage to better Botswana’s result in the final round of matches.
Monday’s visitors also have the chance to exact revenge on their hosts after a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture two years ago.
Recent meetings between the sides leave little to choose between the teams as the last six meetings have produced three wins apiece.
Zimbabwe are headed to the AFCON for the third edition in a row courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Botswana at the Francistown Stadium on Thursday.
The Warriors have never made it past the group stages of the tournament, but they have another chance to break that duck.
Monday’s hosts have been beaten on the last two occasions that the visitors have come into town, so they will be wary of suffering a third consecutive defeat.
Zimbabwe Africa Cup of Nations qualifying form:
Zimbabwe form (all competitions):
Zambia Africa Cup of Nations qualifying form:
Zambia form (all competitions):
Patson Daka delivered a man-of-the-match performance with his brace last time out and once again, his side will be heavy reliant on him.
Khama Billiat was Zambia’s tormentor-in-chief when the sides last met, so it is a relief for the visitors that he is unavailable for the match.
Perfect Chikwende has been the biggest beneficiary of Billiat’s absence, and he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
With almost nothing to play for, both managers will be expected to make a couple of changes to their starting XIs for this one.
Zimbabwe possible starting lineup:
Shumba; Bhasera, Dzingai, Hadebe, Chimwemwe; Kamusoko, Musona, Mahachi, Karuru, Chikwende; Dzvukamanja
Zambia possible starting lineup:
Chibwe; Chama, Banda, Chongo; Sinkala, Mwepu, Sakala, Lungu; Chama, Mulenga, Daka
We say: Zimbabwe 1-1 Zambia
Both teams already have their fates sealed so they can approach the game with no added pressure on them. We expect the match to be an end-to-end affair where the sides will cancel each other out.