Overview of Zimbabwe’s African Cup of Nations 2021 opponents

Cameroon will kick off the 33rd African Cup of Nations final round on January 9, 2022. Twenty-four of Africa's finest football teams will battle it out to determine the continent's strongest team.

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The Zimbabwe national team qualified for the tournament, finishing second with Algeria, Zambia, and Botswana. The Zimbabweans will face Senegal, Guinea, and Malawi in the group stage of the Cup final. If you plan to follow the African Cup of Nations 2021 this winter and would like to try your hand at sports betting, you can find a suitable bookmaker at bookmaker-ratings.com.


The Senegal national team is the most formidable opponent. This team is considered to be the 20th strongest in the world according to FIFA rankings. By comparison, the Zimbabwe team is only ranked 113th. The Senegalese are one of the favorites to win the entire tournament. At the last CAN in 2019, the wards of modern-minded coach Aliou Cisse won silver medals, losing in the final to Algeria (0-1).

Cisse has at least one quality player from a solid European championship in every line. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy plays for UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea, while captain Kalidou Koulibaly, a key player for Italian side Napoli, stands out in the defensive line. PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who has made 82 appearances for the national team, is the star of the midfield line-up. Liverpool’s Sadio Mane is Senegal’s main threat in attack. He scored six goals for the Reds in 12 games and three goals for Senegal at the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.


While Senegal’s squad stands apart in Group B, the other teams are roughly on par. Guinea’s national team sits higher than Zimbabwe in the FIFA rankings at 76th place. The Zimbabwean players will play the Guineans in the third round of the group stage, so this encounter is likely to be a decisive one for exiting the group.

Guineans qualified for the play-offs at the last Africa Cup of Nations, where they crashed out against Algeria (0-3) in the 1/8 group stage. French coach Didier Sixs’ side, has a good chance of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup: they need to defeat Guinea-Bissau at home.

There are some exciting players on the Guinean squad, including Florentin Pogba, brother of French world champion Paul Pogba, and Momo Yansane, the striker who scored a goal for Moldova’s Sheriff in the UEFA Champions League. But the defining player for Sixs’ team is Naby Keita, a holding midfielder for Liverpool.


The Malawi national team are the underdogs in the group. Despite sitting just two places below Zimbabwe in the FIFA table, the last time Malawi made it to the Africa Cup finals was back in 2010, and before that, in 1984. The Malawians qualified for the African tournament, finishing second in the group with teams from Burkina Faso, Uganda, and South Sudan.

The last qualifying round decided the fate of Meke Mwase, a 49-year-old local specialist, and his players where the Malawians beat their opponents from Uganda (1-0) at home to take a 2-point lead to second place in Group B.

The winning goals in the deciding games of qualification were scored by South Africa’s 27-year-old Baroka forward Richard Mbulu. Most of the players in that country’s national team play in the African championships. The exception is 20-year-old defender Charles Petro of Moldova’s Sheriff.


The Zimbabwe national team will kick off the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on January 10, 2022, against Senegal. The Zimbabweans will then play against Malawi on January 14, while on the 18th, there will probably be a decisive group exit meeting between Zimbabwe and Guinea.

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