Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2021 match:
Algeria have been impressive in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, with the team rolling over Zambia 5-0 in their opener, while beating Botswana 1-0 thanks to Belaili’s goal. The Desert Warriors aim to keep their 100% record in Group H intact, and they are likely to go all guns blazing at Zimbabwe. As always, a man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Man City ace Riyad Mahrez, who is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders.
The likes of Youcef Atal and Djmael Benlamri have been recalled, while Nimes’ summer signing Karim Aribi has received his first call-up. The visitors are eager to retain their spot in top two, but despite their fine displays in Group H, home win should be considered as Algeria are one of the teams to beat in Africa.
Highlighted Player (Youcef Atal):
The Boghni born Algerian started playing football at the age of ten when he joined CR Belouizdinad's youth academy in 2006. His decade long youth career saw him feature for other more Algerian teams before signing a professional contract with the last one, namely Paradou AC, in 2015.
Atal, who predominantly plays as a right-back, made his first professional appearance on the 9th of January 2016, playing in Paradou's 3-0 over CR Beni Thour in the Coupe d'Algerie. His performances during his 17/18 loan spell at Belgian Club Kortrijk earned him a move to France with OGC Nice in 2018.
At Nice, the 23-year-old has become a valuable first-team player and is on a five-year contract expiring in 2023. On the International stage, Atal has capped 14 times for Algeria, making his debut on the 6th of June, 2017, in a friendly against Guinea.
Highlighted Team (Zimbabwe):
The Zimbabwe national team were known as the Southern Rhodesia national team from 1939 t0 1964 and they played under the name of Rhodesia until 1980. They became Zimbabwe in 1980 and they played their first World Cup qualifying game against Cameroon, losing 2-1.
The Warriors have yet to qualify for the World Cup finals, but it has to be noted that they qualified for the 2017 African Cup of Nations. Zimbabwe faced the likes of Swaziland, Guinea and Malawi in Group L and they clinched top position in their qualifying group, three points clear of second-placed Swaziland. The Warriors play their home games in yellow shirts and yellow shorts, while the colour of their away kit is green.
National Sports Stadium is considered Zimbabwe’s home stadium and the capacity of the venue is 60,000. The team recorded their biggest win on 26 August, 1990 as they rolled over Botswana 7-0 in Gaborone.