Serbian trainer Milovan Rajevac makes a return to the West African nation where he made his name a little over 11 years when he guided the Black Stars to the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Ghana are currently 3rd in Group G with 3 points and the Black Stars must rescue victory from the Warriors at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium to breathe life into their hopes of securing qualification to their 4th World Cup appearance.
While the Black Stars take on the South Africans in the Central Regional capital, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana will be locking horns with Ethiopia in Addis Ababa in a tie that could potentially determine which team will sit top of the group regardless of the outcome of Ghana’s game with Zimbabwe.
Having reached Cameroon 2021 the next hurdle for the four-time African champions will be to qualify for Qatar 2022 after failing to secure qualification to Russia 2018. An uninspiring 1-0 home win over Ethiopia in Cape Coast and a 1-0 loss to South Africa in Johannesburg in the last international break led to the sacking of Charles Akonnor as head coach of Black Stars last month.
Zimbabwe’s Warriors have also parted ways with Croatian trainer Zdravko Logarusic following the country’s poor start to the campaign. They sit bottom of the group with 1 point which they earned from their draw with South Africa at the National Sports Stadium.
Ghana had an enviable 5-game winning streak in qualifying games but that record was well ended by South Africa when Bongokuhle Hlongwane struck in the 83rd minute at the FNB Stadium to break the hearts of the Ghanaians who appeared listless on a long evening in Johannesburg.
With the clock ticking before kick-off at the Cape Coast Stadium Ghana Sports Online takes you through all the important information ahead of the game.
The World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Zimbabwe will take place on Saturday, October 9.
The match will start at 16.00 GMT and will be played at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast – Central region, one of the available ultra-modern sporting facilities in Ghana.
The stadium has a capacity of 15,000 but CAF has given the Ghana FA approval to admit only 4,000 fans into the stadium.
How to WATCH the match
Ghana vs Zimbabwe will be broadcast for free on Ghana’s sole sports-only digital channel GTV Sports+, with coverage starting at 15.00 GMT.
Viewers outside Ghana can be able to stream the game live on the StarTimes App.
There will also be a highlights package on the same channel, starting later on Saturday evening, showing all other games including Ghana vs Zimbabwe.
Ghana Sports Online will also be running a live blog, so you can keep up-to-date with us. And, also present a comprehensive highlight of the game.
How is Group G likely to shape up?
While Ghana host Zimbabwe in Cape Coast, South Africa have travelled to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, where they will engage the Walia Ibex in the group’s other fixture. Ghana must win this fixture to keep their qualification hopes alive while Zimbabwe must win if they want to remain in contention for a qualification spot.
Ghana captain Andre Ayew has not been able to train with the team ahead of the game is doubtful to start the match. Strasbourg defender Alexander Djiku sat out of the Black Stars’ 8-0 training game win over Soccer Intellectuals in midweek. Jonathan Mensah who also arrived late for the game didn’t take part in the low-tempo game. However head coach Milovan Rajevac has Leicester defender Daniel Amartey at his disposal through Reading’s Andy Yiadom couldn’t travel due to fitness concerns. Wakaso Mubarak, Fatawu Mohammed, and Richard Ofori who all started the 1-0 loss to South Africa are all not included in this Ghana squad. Additionally, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, Abdul Ismail Ganiyu, Samuel Ashie-Quaye, Braydon Manu, and Kwame Opoku have all lost their places in Milovan Rajevac’s team.
Zimbabwe have presented a strong squad in Ghana and that is a good signal of intent. Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, Bournemouth’s Jordan Zemura, Tendayi Darikwa of Wigan Athletic, and defender Teenage Hadebe have all travelled to Ghana with the squad.
Goalkeepers: Lawrence Ati- Zigi (FC St. Gallen), Richard Atta (Hearts of Oak), Ibrahim Danlad, (Asante Kotoko), Jojo Wallocott (Swindon Town)
Defenders: Philemon Baffuor (Dreams FC), Andrew Yiadom (Reading FC), Gideon Mensah (Bordeaux), Baba Abdul Rahman (Reading FC), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew), Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg).
Midfielders: Thomas Partey (Arsenal FC), Baba Idrissu (Real Mallorca), Emmanuel Lomotey (Amiens), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax Amsterdam), Majeed Ashimeru (RSC Anderlecht), Kofi Kyere (St. Pauli), Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Steadfast FC).
Forwards: Andre Ayew (Al Sadd SC), Kamaldeen Suleymana (Rennes), Joel Fameyeh (Orenburg), Yaw Yeboah (Wisła Kraków), Samuel Owusu (Al-Fayha FC), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Caleb Ekuban (Genoa), Benjamin Tetteh (Yeni Malatyaspor)
Goalkeepers: Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF) Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars) Washington Arubi (Marumo Gallants)
With Ghana’s impressive home form in qualifiers with FIVE wins and ONE defeat in their last six games, the odds are highly in their favour to win.
1XBet.com.gh have given Ghana a 1.31 win while Zimbabwe have a win odd of 9.80 with a draw at 4.74 while Betway.com.gh have favoured Ghana to win with an odd of 1.34 while Zimbabwe have an odd of 8.98 with a draw at 4.50.
Head 2 Head Analysis
Ghana’s last memory of Zimbabwe came in 2006 when the Black Stars succumbed to a 2-1 shocking defeat in Egypt during the 2006 AFCON.
Some key events
In the first fixture, Ghana went into the game as the more desperate side for three points. In this fixture, Ghana is regarded as the side that needs the three points most.
In the previous fixture, Ghana won 1-0 against Senegal and lost 1-0 to Nigeria before facing Zimbabwe. Ahead of the upcoming fixture, Ghana won 1-0 against Ethiopia and lost 1-0 to South Africa.
In the previous fixture, Ghana was World Cup-bound, ahead of this fixture, Ghana have already qualified for the 2021 AFCON. Both are tournaments.
In the previous fixture, Ghana was led by a half-fit captain [Stephen Appiah], ahead of this fixture Ghana is led by a half-fit captain [Andre Ayew].
In the previous fixture, Ghana had a Serbian coach, ahead of this fixture, Ghana has a Serbian coach.
In the previous fixture, Zimbabwe was at the bottom of the table, ahead of this fixture, Zimbabwe is at the bottom of the table.
Ghana’s probable XI: Richard Attah – Philimon Baffour, Baba Rahman, Daniel Amartey, Alexander Djiku – Baba Iddrisu Mohammed, Thomas Partey, Kudus Mohammed – Kamaldeen Sulemana, Jordan Ayew, Joel Fameyeh