Senegal vs. Zimbabwe Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

07 January 2022

Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium Kouekong – Africa Cup of Nations

Sadio Mané is hoping to go one better with Senegal at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Source: Ariel Schalit/AP/Shutterstock

Senegal enter their 17th Africa Cup of Nations against Zimbabwe carrying the burden of being pre-tournament favourites. That added pressure may allow the Warriors to cause an opening fixture shock, although the football betting online markets may suggest otherwise.

Past Meetings

Zimbabwe hold the honour of winning the first ever meeting between the two countries back at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1985. In fact, the Warriors won four of the pair’s first five meetings, but since then Senegal have won the last four in a row, most recently winning in July 2021.

Team News

Senegal have a spine to rival the best in world football, with Édouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gueye, and Sadio Mané all likely to start against Zimbabwe, as Aliou Cissé aims to get his side off to a perfect start.

Zimbabwe have had a turbulent time in the lead-up to the tournament. Winless since March 2021, the Warriors will be without Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba, who injured his knee in December. Left-back Jordan Zemura is a doubt due to carrying a knock into the tournament.

Senegal vs. Zimbabwe Preview and Predictions

Zimbabwe’s appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations was in doubt right up until the very start of the tournament, with the threat of a FIFA ban looming over them. However, interim boss Norman Mapeza managed to get his 23-man squad named in time. The last 12 months have been turbulent at best for the Warriors on and off the pitch, with their last victory coming in March in their penultimate Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game.

The same cannot be said of their opponents, who according to FIFA come into the tournament as the 20th-best team in the world and highest-ranked side competing in Cameroon.

It is understandable then that the 2019 AFCON beaten finalists are viewed as favourites, especially with the likes of Sadio Mané and Idrissa Gueye in the team. The Lions of Teranga also bring form into the tournament, having won five and drawn one of their last six since tasting defeat to South Africa in the COSAFA final in July.

A Senegal win looks the way to go in this one and with the favourites handed a favourable group with Guinea and Malawi to come, expect Senegal to lay down an early marker and breeze into the latter stages of the tournament.

Recommended Bets

Senegal to win and BTTS at 4.40

It is hard to look beyond Senegal’s clear advantages in every position over Zimbabwe, leaving them with the perfect opportunity to live up to their favourites tag. Zimbabwe will throw everything at the game though and could at least cause Senegal some problems by getting on the scoresheet.

Senegal to win 2-1 at 12.00

This was the result when the pair met in July and Senegal have conceded exactly one goal in four of their last five games.

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