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Ex-Orlando Pirates captain Dinha insists Bafana Bafana and Zimbabwe ‘situations are different’

Ex-Orlando Pirates captain Dinha insists Bafana Bafana and Zimbabwe ‘situations are different’

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The Southern African neighbours are set to resume their rivalry in a World Cup qualifier on Friday

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Edelbert Dinha has compared the squads of Zimbabwe and South Africa as he feels the Warriors are more experienced than Bafana Bafana.

The two neighbours meet in a 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier Group G match at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Friday.

Bafana are on a rebuilding phase and travelled with some players who are less experienced in international football.

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Zimbabwe, on the other hand, have familiar faces in their squad including captain Knowledge Musona, Kaizer Chiefs’ Khama Billiat, former Orlando Pirates midfielder Nyasha Munetsi, who is now based in France together with Lyon striker Tino Kadewere.

“I saw Bafana selected a youthful squad but our situations are different,” Dinha told Sowetan Live.

“We want to use these World Cup qualifiers to get ready for Afcon, that’s why we picked experienced players… those players will be at Afcon.”

The Warriors were, however, forced to drop five players who ply their trade in England headlined by Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries on the UK coronavirus red list which saw the players subjected to stringent Covid-19 regulations. 

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Despite the players failing to report for national duty, Dinha, a former Zimbabwe international, is not worried the development would weaken the Warriors.

“Yes, we’re going to miss Nakamba and other UK-based [players] but I think we have enough depth to soldier on without them,” added Dinha.

“Our squad is balanced… it’s made up of experienced players, so I believe we’ll cope without these UK-based guys.”

Apart from Nakamba, also absent for Zimbabwe is ex-Everton and England youth international Brandon Galloway who turns out for Plymouth Argyle.

Bournemouth defender Jordan Zemura is also unavailable together with Macauley Bonne of Ipswich Town, Sunderland’s Ethan Kachosa and Luton Town’s Admiral Muskwe.

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Zimbabwe are bidding to qualify for the World Cup for the first time ever in their history from this group which also includes Ghana and Ethiopia.

South Africa, on the other hand, have appeared at the quadrennial global football showpiece three times before. 

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