Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: South Africa vs Zimbabwe Preview

South Africa vs Zimbabwe Preview

Bafana Bafana at the FNB Stadium

Zimbabwe grip bottom of the group as South Africa look to forge their way through to the final round in the CAF Qatar World Cup qualifiers. Just like the table, moods in both camps are on polar opposites. Is it time for South Africa to right their one wrong after drawing with Zimbabwe in the opening matchday or is it The Warriors chance to regain their pride before bowing out of the competition? Hugo Broos’ men have gone on to win their subsequent three, while Zim went into theirs only to find defeat. Many changes in both teams have taken place and this fixture is building up to be of utmost importance in Group G.

Let’s get straight into this all-important qualifier for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Group G

2022 World Cup Qualifier
Thursday 11 November
FNB Stadium

To Win
South Africa 9/20
Draw 3/1
Zimbabwe 6/1

South Africa

South Africa have enjoyed an impressive run thus far in Group G. Coach Hugo Broos was excited to have fans back in the stadium last time out, and they will be present yet again against Zimbabwe. Three successive wins sees Bafana Bafana top the group on 10 points. Another home fixture for the nation in which they have yet to lose their last 10, Broos will want to correct his team’s two-point shortfall in Harare from the last time they faced Zimbabwe.

Team selection has always been a big talking point surrounding Bafana Bafana, but nowadays a huge portion of fans are leaving Hugo to do his job. Recent injuries sees Jesse Don replace Yusuf Maart, and AmaZulu’s Tercious Malepe in for Sifiso Hlante.

Keagan Dolly has put his hand up and has not gone unnoticed with five goals and three assists in his last five appearances, and Percy Tau has hit the ground running in Egypt, scoring two goals in his three for new club Al Ahly. Just one concern for Broos is the suspension of PSL’s top South African scorer, Victor Letsoalo, who is in the team, but will miss the first of two matches.

Broos has been keeping clean sheets and grinding out wins, focusing on set pieces and maintaining possession. He is a real tournament-based coach and has been proving our squad’s ability with constant growth in play and character.

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After being fairly promising in the first leg, Zimbabwe were unable to follow up in their results. A 1-0 loss to Ethiopia followed by back-to-back losses to Ghana leaves The Warriors out of the running and fighting for nothing but pride. Just two matches to go for Zimbabwe will see the team experimenting rather than pushing for points. Just one goal from three matches scored by captain Knowledge Musona via the penalty spot is telling of the teams’ ability to create and finish opportunities.

Zimbabwe interim coach Norman Mapeza paints a sad picture for Zimbabwean football in a recent interview. He is quoted saying, “We have talent in this country, but that counts for nothing as long as we don’t guard and nurture it jealously.” He went on further to make a call for mandatory reserve teams in the league, lamenting previous coach, Zdravko Logarusic, and his selection process, as well as stating the team is looking ahead at the AFCON 2022 rather than their final two qualification matches.

The selection process for Zimbabwe has been a difficult one and has been dealt rather significant blows. Ipswich forward Macauley Bonne has turned down a call up, Wigan Athletics’ Tendayi Darikwa excused himself and Houston Dynamo’s Teenage Hadebe and Knowledge Musona will not make the trip with both picking up injuries.

While there might be a negative feeling surrounding the camp as they sit bottom of the group, there are still quality players wanting to put their best foot forward in preparation for the upcoming AFCON. The Warriors are galvanized by goalkeeper Taimon Mvula from Dynamos, Leicester City winger Tawanda Maswanhise, Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba and lastly PSL household name Khama Billiat.

The coach himself said it, the focus is on AFCON, so experimenting will be the gameplan, rather than figuring out a way to defeat Bafana Bafana.

Prediction: South Africa Win (9/20)
Last time these two met in Harare, Bafana Bafana dominated possession and shots, with three key saves by goalkeeper Talbert Shumba and one off the line clearance by defender Gilroy Chimwemwe.

Expect a similar approach by South Africa, maintaining ball possession and looking to find corners and set pieces around the box to utilizing Evidence Makgopa’s aerial threat, as well as the new addition of Keagan Dolly posing a much more creative approach through the midfield. Make no mistake, Zimbabwe have quality in personnel too, but the cohesion in the team is telling by the results. Confidence will play the key factor in this fixture, and South Africa will come away with all three points.

Written by Joshua Gaillard