Warriors coach Rahman Gumbo is expecting a tough and physical encounter next Sunday when his charges engage Guinea in the first match of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers at the National Sports Stadium.
Guinea fell 2-1 to Cameroon in the French city of Metz on Saturday in an international friendly a match that Gumbo closely followed.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, played the Friends of Benjani on Saturday in the Benjani Mwaruwari testimonial match without three key players Tinashe Nengomasha, Ovidy Karuru and Khama Billiat.
The national team lost out on a friendly against Botswana last week. Botswana opted to play lowly Lesotho as part of their preparations, while their weekend opponents were in action with a full strength squad.
I watched the entire game and they used most of their international stars, 20 of them and I think that is basically the same team they will bring to Zimbabwe. It is going to be a tough match, they are big, physically, Gumbo said yesterday.
The camp though has been boosted by the arrival of Archford Gutu, Nengomasha, Willard Katsande, while Billiat, whose injury will be assessed by team doctor Nick Munyonga today, was also expected last night.
Said team manager Nyika Chifamba yesterday: We should be having a full camp tomorrow (today). Khama should be in later today (yesterday) with Nengomasha while Katsande is already in. The match yesterday (Saturday), gave the coaches an opportunity to assess the fitness levels of the players.
On Saturday, Gumbo gave a hint of the most crucial department the strikeforce that will lead Zimbabwes attack when he paired German-based Knowledge Musona with big Dynamos forward Takesure Chinyama.
Chinyama scored twice, Musona, Mwaruwari, Gutu, Terrence Mandaza and a penalty by goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini sealed a 7-4 win for the Warriors.
Mandaza, who plays for Platinum Stars in South Africa and was once courted by Orlando Pirates, will likely start from the bench.
In midfield Gutu, Katsande, Nengomasha will form the core with Karuru and Billiat, if he recovers, on the wings. If Billiat fails, Vusa Nyoni could be moved to the left of attack with Karuru on the other side.
The left wing back could then go to Onisimor Bhasera, Tapuwa Khumbuyani on the right, with Arnold Chaka and Carlington Nyadombo at the heart of the defence. But Gumbo still faces a positive selection crisis as Oscar Machapa is baying for a place in the team.
The coach said despite the physical presence of the Guineans, the game was still winnable.
Its still a winnable game because I have the advantage of having players who want to make their names. They want to grow their careers and they will give it all, the FC Platinum coach said.
The main man in Guinea is winger Ibrahima Traore the man who is behind Frenchman Michel Dussuyers stay as national coach.
Guinea failed to reach the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, after finishing third in Group D.
Offensively and defensively we showed we are a good team with talented players, said Traore.
After a year with the team, we are now a better team with him.
The Guineans, who knocked out Nigeria in the qualifying campaign, finished Group D with four points trailing leaders Ghana, with whom they drew 1-1, and Mali, whose opening 1-0 win sunk Dussuyers side.
Stade Rennais striker Sadio Diallo is another threat to the Warriors after he scored the equaliser against Cameroon on Saturday. Veteran playmaker Pascal Feindouno, who parted ways with Swiss side FC Sion in January and is now without a club, was dropped alongside Genoa midfielder Kevin Constant and Ibrahima Yattara of Saudi club Al-Shabab.
Zimbabwes other opponents in the qualifiers Mozambique, whom they play on June 10, also had a workout during the weekend, drawing 0-0 against Namibia, while Egypt are camped in Sudan. Egypt play Mozambique at the weekend.
Tapuwa Kapini, Khama Billiat, Knowledge Musona, Willard Katsande, Carrington Nyadombo, Onisimor Bhasera , Vusa Nyoni, Terrence Mandaza, Arnold Chaka, Tinashe Nengomasha, Ovidy Karuru, Oscar Machapa, Archford Gutu and Bradley Pritchard.
Local: Njabulo Nyoni , Marlon Jani , Timothy Sibanda, Tapiwa Kumbuyani , Godfrey Moyo , Patson Jaure, Nyasha Mukumbi , Simon Munawa , Denver Mukamba, Charles Sibanda, Kuda Mahachi, Ronald Chitiyo, Welcome Ndiweni, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Takesure Chinyama and Francis Zvikumbawire