Zimbabwe/Tunisia: Can Musona Provide Missing Link?

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\n Photo: K.Musona

\n Knowledge Musona (file photo).

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ZIMBABWE coach Calisto Pasuwa has not been giving much in terms of Knowledge Musona’s readiness to lead Zimbabwe tonight at the Stade de l’Amitie but the opponents Tunisia are desperate to know if he will be fully fit for the final showdown. Musona trained with the team on Saturday evening, marking his return after he was pulled out of the Algeria game just a few minutes into the Group B opener at the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon.

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The Tunisians have been making constant enquiries about the condition of the Warriors talisman and may have to live with the reality of trying to contain both Musona and Khama Billiat.

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Pasuwa has already pointed out that Musona’s hamstring injury has been a big blow in this campaign, indicating he could make a return if given the green light after the last training session which was set for yesterday evening.

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Skipper Willard Katsande is, however, looking at the bigger picture and he believes whoever goes into battle must be ready to give everything.

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“We are 100 percent sure of what to expect. We know what it takes to play in this tournament. We went back to the drawing board after that defeat. We have recovered and now we are ready for the fight,” said Katsande.

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“Now we have to be in front right from the word go and try to get a result against these guys. This game is going to determine whether we go forward or not.”

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Danny “Deco” Phiri’s knee injury also added to the Warriors woes and Pasuwa was forced to change his starting XI against Senegal.

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The result has been just one point collected from the first two matches.

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Tunisia will go through if they beat Zimbabwe, or pick a point, regardless of what happens in the other match.

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The Warriors will go through with a win and an Algeria defeat to Senegal or draw.

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If Algeria win, then the Warriors win against Tunisia it will have to be by a bigger margin to make sure they have a better goal difference.

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Algeria are counting on the Warriors beating Tunisia by a small margin while they beat Senegal at Stade de Franceville. The two games will be played at the same time.

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Striker Nyasha Mushekwi says the Tunisian game is a must win match for the Warriors.

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“Mostly definitely. It is a must win for us. We are coming from a bruising battle but we have to forget about it and concentrate on the next game,” he said.

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The striker looks set to retain his position as the target man in a set-up that could now have Musona, Khama and Kuda Mahachi supporting him.

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However, the possible return of Deco and Musona offers a selection headache for Pasuwa.

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If Musona is to start, it may mean playing him wide to replace Matthew Rusike or use him behind Mushekwi while Khama is pushed wide on the right.

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Pasuwa may also be forced to make up his mind on Deco and Marvelous Nakamba if the former is also given the green light to play.

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Another attacking option, Evans Rusike, missed training on Saturday due to flue.

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The Maritzburg United striker made an appearance from the bench against Senegal and, while he impressed, he could not help the Warriors fight back.

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Senegal could do Zimbabwe a big favour if they live up to their word.

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Coach Aliou Cisse has not made it a secret that the Algeria battle is not only about points but a chance to show Africa that their number one ranking is no fluke.

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“A match between Senegal and Algeria is a massive battle. The objective remains the same. We came here to win matches.

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“This is a match involving great teams and you can expect a great match. We are going to use our great players. We have to keep winning matches and improve on our confidence going into the knock-out stage,” said Cisse.

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