KALLISTO PASUWA has resisted the temptation to razzmatazz when the Warriors face the Syli Nacional of Guinea in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Rufaro this afternoon.

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The match kicks off at 3pm, three dollars gets you in and live on ZTV!

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February 2, 1993 — Guinea 3-0 Zimbabwe (World Cup Qualifier) September 9, 1993 — Zimbabwe 1-0 Guinea (World Cup Qualifier) June 18, 2000 — Guinea 3-0 Zimbabwe (World Cup Qualifier) June 1, 2008 — Guinea 0-0 Zimbabwe (World Cup/AFCON Qualifier) September 7, 2008 — Zimbabwe 0-0 Guinea (World Cup/AFCON Qualifier) June 3, 2012 — Zimbabwe 0-0 Guinea (World Cup Qualifier) June 16, 2013 — Guinea 1-0 Zimbabwe (World Cup Qualifier)

February 2, 1993 — Guinea 3-0 Zimbabwe (World Cup Qualifier)
September 9, 1993 — Zimbabwe 1-0 Guinea (World Cup Qualifier)
June 18, 2000 — Guinea 3-0 Zimbabwe (World Cup Qualifier)
June 1, 2008 — Guinea 0-0 Zimbabwe (World Cup/AFCON Qualifier)
September 7, 2008 — Zimbabwe 0-0 Guinea (World Cup/AFCON Qualifier)
June 3, 2012 — Zimbabwe 0-0 Guinea (World Cup Qualifier)
June 16, 2013 — Guinea 1-0 Zimbabwe (World Cup Qualifier)

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With a galaxy of inform stars at his disposal, the Warriors coach could have been tempted to stylishly unleash his arsenal on Guinea. However, with Pasuwa being Pasuwa, the Warriors will sacrifice some flair for graft as they seek a second victory on the bounce following the 2-1 win away to Malawi in June.

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“When people see all these stars we have in camp, they conclude this is a done job, but let me remind you, this game is won on match day, on the pitch.

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“We will do our best, we have the players who can do it,” said the Warriors gaffer.

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Pasuwa highlighted that the Warriors won’t go blindly attacking the Elephants, who fell 1-2 to Swaziland in their opening group match, as they seek a much-desired early goal. “We have done our homework, we have been watching videos and analysing how this West African nation has been playing,” he said.

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“We know they have heavily-built players and some tall and dangerous strikers, especially one from the Belgian league. It is good we have some European-based players like Knowledge (Musona), who know a bit about some of the players we will face.

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“The key issue is about caution; it has to be caution first. No complacency at all, yes, we beat Malawi away and Guinea lost to Swaziland but this is a different game altogether. That Guinea side that lost to Swaziland was almost like a second string side but now they have brought an almost full strength side. Remember this is a nation that usually does well in Afcon qualifiers hence they are no pushovers.”

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The need to be compact will see Sparta Praha defender Costa Nhamoinesu being deployed at left back despite the purple patch he’s enjoying playing at centre half for his Czech side.

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Pasuwa seems to have decided against using the game against Guinea to try the Nhamoinesu/Patson Jaure centre back pairing. He toyed with the idea briefly during the week but looks set to go with Jaure and Eric Chipeta while Hardlife Zvirekwi takes up the right back position.

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Skipper Willard Katsande and Chicken Inn grafter Danny “Deco” Phiri could provide a twin defensive shield in the middle of the park while Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona offer pace down the wings. Cuthbert Malajila may be asked to slot in just behind an on-fire Nyasha Mushekwi in what effectively looks like a 4-2-3-1 formation. Washington Arubi guards goal. Refreshingly, there were no reports of bonus disputes as the boys retired for bed soon after dinner last night amid new rules that bar the use of mobile phones on the eve of the match.

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The usual place to point the blame finger at — Zifa — has played ball this time around and Pasuwa and his men have little room for error. However, an almost smooth camp won’t stop the Warriors coach from retreating into his hotel room and meditating on the game for at least two hours.

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On match days, the Warriors have their lunch at 11am before heading back to their rooms where the medical team will visit each player for massage and minor touch ups. Now it is during this period that Coach Mana, short for Manabhunu, the nickname he was given by Charles Mabika during his playing days, goes into his shell.

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Pasuwa goes to bed on the eve of the match with his preferred first XI neatly written on a notepad, yes notepad not I-pad. However, things can change during the time the Warriors mentor goes into a spiritual journey inside himself.

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“For coach Pasuwa, the game is played hours before it’s played,” a member of Warriors technical team reckons.

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The boys are used to the sight of their coach walking barefoot along the corridor hours before the match but the classic moment remains the one when Pasuwa leans against the wall and puts his cheek in hand. Kick off never arrives fast enough for the Warriors coach.

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It will be the same today as Zimbabwe seeks to take another step towards the top table of African football after getting their journey off to a perfect start with a 2-1 win away in Malawi on June 13.

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Twenty four hours before the Warriors’ smash-and-grab in Blantyre, Guinea had fallen at “home” to a Swaziland outfit that is threatening to throw the cat among the pigeons. The Syli Nacional — the national Elephants — played their home tie at the Stade Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco due to the Ebola scare.

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Their fall to Swaziland proved a reality check to a side that reached the quarter finals of this year’s Afcon in Equatorial Guinea after Lady Luck smiled at them and frowned on Mali.

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After finishing the group stages tied, on everything, Guinea and Mali had to be separated by the drawing of lots.

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A 3-0 last eight defeat to Ghana ended Guinea’s Afcon dance on February 1 in Malabo while the 1-2 fall to Swaziland came on June 12. Now the staggering elephants have made the trip to Harare seeking to bounce back into the mix.

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Their Spanish-born coach Luis Fernandez knows how poor his team has been on the road over the past two years but remains confident that his own collection of stars — mainly Belgian-based ones — can stun the Warriors. He must be smoking Palm Tree Leaves.

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Go Warriors Go!

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Probable Line up

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W. Arubi, H. Zvirekwi, C. Nhamoinesu, P. Jaure, E. Chipeta, W. Katsande, D. Phiri, K. Billiat, K. Musona, C. Malajila, N. Mushekwi.

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