Zimbabwe and Nigeria are aiming to secure their first win in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers as they face off at Huye Stadium on Sunday.
The Super Eagles, undefeated in their last six encounters against the Warriors, aim to continue their dominance and kickstart their qualifying campaign.
Zimbabwe’s Recent Performance:
Zimbabwe began their 2026 World Cup journey with a decent performance, securing a goalless draw against Rwanda at Huye Stadium. This follows their 2-1 victory over Guinea in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations. Since then, they played one friendly in September, drawing 1-1 with Botswana.
Ranked 125th in the FIFA World Rankings, Zimbabwe has struggled, failing to win 14 of their last 15 matches. In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, they finished last in Group G, collecting only two points from six matches.
Nigeria’s Recent Performance:
Nigeria faced disappointment in their Group C opener, drawing 1-1 against Lesotho. Prior to this, they had three consecutive wins in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. In the last six games, Nigeria has remained undefeated, with four wins and two draws since March 2023.
Absent from the 2022 World Cup, Nigeria aims for a strong comeback. Despite the draw against Lesotho, they have shown resilience and are determined to secure their first World Cup appearance since 2018.
Admiral Muskwe is a major doubt for Zimbabwe after sustaining an injury against Rwanda. Terrence Dzvukamanja may replace him in the XI. Marvelous Nakamba is expected to feature in midfield, with a consistent back three of Takwara, Hadebe, and Lunga.
Nigeria is likely to maintain a similar XI, with Victor Boniface and Taiwo Awoniyi leading the attack due to Victor Osimhen’s absence. Frank Onyeka and Alex Iwobi are expected in midfield, while Ajayi and Bassey form the center-back pairing.
Possible Starting Lineups:
Zimbabwe: Bernard; Takwara, Hadebe, Lunga; Mbeba, Munetsi, Nakamba, Band, Musona; Dube, Dzvukamanja
Nigeria: Uzoho; Osayi-Samuel, Ajayi, Bassey, Collins; Onyeka, Iwobi, Iheanacho, Lookman; Boniface, Awoniyi
Nigeria is likely to secure a 2-0 victory against Zimbabwe, showcasing their experience and superior squad.