WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarusic (pictured left) is this afternoon expected to explain his squad selection for the back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against African champions Algeria this month amid question marks over some of the inclusions and omissions in the provisional squad, which was leaked on Friday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Zifa insist that the list of players that was leaked on Friday is fake and the official Warriors provisional squad will be announced at a press briefing in Harare today.
“The squad list, which is circulating is not official, it’s just speculation. The official Warriors provisional squad will be announced by the coach Zdravko Logarusic at a press conference tomorrow (today),” Zifa communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela told Standardsport in an interview yesterday.
Whether the squad to be announced today will be any different to the one already in the public domain, Logarusic is, however, still expected to face some tough questions over his selection choices for his first competitive matches since his appointment early this year.
The Croatian coach did not have the luxury of assessing his key players during the last Fifa international break due to poor planning by the local football governing body ahead of the friendly match in Malawi, which could see some players being selected based on their reputation or where they ply their trade.
Perhaps the biggest selection headache facing Logarusic is whether to include the duo of England-based defender Tendayi Darikwa and South Africa-based Ovidy Karuru, who have both not featured for their clubs for several months.
Darikwa is facing an uncertain future at Nottingham Forest following reports that the English Championship side is considering loan offers for the experienced defender ahead of the close of the transfer window period tomorrow.
The 28-year-old England-born Warriors star last played his competitive match, in Zimbabwe colours, during the 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt.
He was injured on the eve on the 2019-2020 Championship season and as a result played no part in the whole campaign. He is also yet to feature for Forest this season leading to fears that his time at City Ground could be up.
Even the dismissal of manager Sabri Lamouchi and the subsequent appointment of Chris Houghton has failed to yield a change of fortunes for the talented right-back as he remains on the fringes of the Forest squad.
Darikwa’s name featured in the squad, which was leaked on Friday together with that of midfielder Karuru, who is currently unattached after leaving DStv Premiership side Stellenbosch under unclear circumstances before the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
Another major talking point from the leaked squad was the exclusion of in-form South Africa-based Terrence Dzvukamanja despite his impressive start at Orlando Pirates.
Despite the talking points, Logarusic will have a star-studded pool from which to pick his squad to take on the in-form Desert Foxes, who are on a 20-match unbeaten run.
Although Queens Park Rangers forward Macauley Bonne has ruled himself out of the squad to play in next month’s double header, Logarusic will still have France-based Tino Kadewere, free-scoring Tanzania-based forward Prince Dube and David Moyo, who plies his trade in Scotland, to pick from.
Skipper Knowledge Musona has been impressing at Belgian side KAS Eupen despite being deployed in an unfamiliar role while Stade de Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi and Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba are some of the Europe-based stars expected to feature prominently against the Algerians.
England-born defender Jordan Zemura is also expected to be named in the squad after recently breaking into the first team of English Championship side Bournemouth.
Former Dynamos goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva, who plays for Michigan Stars in the US, is earmarked for a long-awaited return to the national team fold after three years in the wilderness.