Zimbabwe surprised Algeria with a 2-2 draw in their AFCON opener, and Aliou Cisse has warned Senegal against underestimating them.
Senegal will look to defend their status as one of the favourites for Africa Cup of Nations glory when they take on Zimbabwe in Franceville on Thursday.
After beginning their campaign with a 2-0 victory over Group B rivals Tunisia, Aliou Cisse’s side know that another win will send them into the quarter-finals. NaijaBet
Zimbabwe Coach Callisto Pasuwa will be sweating on the fitness of exciting midfielder Knowledge Musona who limped off in the game against Algeria.
Khama Billiat was brilliant against Algeria and will hope to continue in that form against a strong Senegalese side while skipper and midfield enforcer Willard Katsande will hope to lead by example again after scoring against Algeria.Team News
Senegal – Moulded in Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, it is approaching time for Balde Keita to deliver on the potential that encouraged Lazio to sign him prior to his senior debut.
Still in the early stages of his international career, he will be keen to improve on his performance against Tunisia, having been hauled off after 62 minutes.
Zimbabwe – Callisto’s side will not be able to rely upon the element of surprise when they take on Senegal, but they will look to Khama Billiat to orchestrate their attack.
Billiat fired four shots on target against Algeria and completed 23 passes in the opposition half, making him an important part of their attacking line-up.
Senegal registered just two shots on target in their match against Tunisia; they scored with both of them (2-0 win).
The only previous AFCON encounter between Senegal and Zimbabwe saw the former win 2-0 in the 2006 group stage.
Senegal come into this game on the back of their first AFCON clean sheet in 15 outings, while Zimbabwe are enjoying a two-game unbeaten run in the tournament (W1 D1); their longest such sequence in the AFCON.