BY HENRY MHARA
DEFENDER Alec Mudimu has been ruled out of today’s World Cup qualifier against South Africa, further complicating issues for Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušic, who will go into the battle without a recognisable central defender.
With regulars Teenage Hadebe and Jimmy Dzingai also unavailable for selection, Loga will have to do with a makeshift defence for this hugely important match.
The Croat yesterday said he was contemplating pushing defensive midfielder Marshal Munetsi to partner leftback Onismor Bhasera at the heart of defence.
“We have so many problems. First we are playing this game without nine starters. That means we will put a new team for this match,” he said.
Some of absentees who were expected to make the starting eleven are Marvelous Nakamba, David Moyo, Ovidy Karuru and Macauley Bonne.
“The second problem is at the back. We are weaker there because we realised today that Alec is not ready for the game. That means we don’t have any central defender in the squad. Now we will have to improvise something and it’s not been easy for us. We have so many difficulties at the back, but we have to find a way to come out with a positive result.”
Munetsi has played in central defence before for his current club Stade Reims and Orlando Pirates before that, but there is a fear that moving him to the back could also create problems for the team in midfield where Tafadzwa Rusike and Thabani Kamusoko lack match fitness.
The Zambian-based duo is yet to play competitive games as their league hasn’t started.
“I would love to play Marshal in midfield because he is strong and he makes some chances to score goals. He can give us stability at the back because we don’t have any central defender on the back. So we are thinking to put Bhasera and Marshal together in the central defence. But we will also create problems in midfield because most of the boys who play there are not playing games for their clubs. Rusike and Kamusoko are not match fit and if they don’t perform we will be in trouble. But we are not being pessimistic, we still remain optimistic. We will do what we have to do to make the people of Zimbabwe happy,” Loga said.
He added: “Only four players in the squad have match fitness. We have Bhasera, Khama (Billiat), (Knowledge) Musona and Marshal Munetsi. Those are the only players that play regularly for their clubs, and the rest of the boys are on the bench or are still in pre-season.”
But an array of attacking talents at his disposal including captain Musona, Billiat and Lyon star Tino Kadewere is giving Loga hope.
“I’m assuring you that with this atmosphere we have in camp I’m sure we will get a positive result no matter how big the challenges that we are facing,” Loga said.
Probable Warriors starting XI:
W Arubi, T Chimwemwe, O Bhasera, M Munetsi, D Lunga, T Kamusoko, T Rusike, K Mahachi, K Billiat, K Musona, T Kadewere
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