By Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone - The Zebras and Namibia's Brave Warriors will test each other's strength when the two sides clash in Gaborone on Sunday to celebrate Botswana's 52nd Independence Day.
The two will use the international friendly match to prepare for a busy schedule in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in mid-October. Both sides anchor their respective groups in the qualifiers.
Zebras coach, David Bright, last week called-up a 20-member squad made up of locally based players.
Two young players, Notwane's Molebatsi Tlhalefo and Sharp Shooting Stars
midfielder, Tshepo Malegas are in line to earn their first international caps.
Otherwise, the squad retains a more familiar look, although some regulars have been given time off.
Township Rollers defender, Simisane Mathumo will skipper the side, and there is space for veteran striker, Bonolo Fraizer, who however, is likely to watch action from the bench.
Bright will use the encounter to prepare for two crucial back-to-back clashes against Burkina Faso on October 13 and 16.
The Zebras will fly to Oagadougou for the first fixture on October 13, before the two sides travel to Botswana's second city, Francistown for the reverse fixture, three days later.
Botswana are at the bottom of Group I without any points from two games and the Burkina Faso encounter has assumed greater significance.
Bright has welcomed the clash against Namibia, which will present his charges with a more formidable opponent, after he was forced to face Angola earlier this month, without any international match practice.
Namibia on the other hand, play Mozambique away on October 13, before welcoming the Black Mambas in Windhoek on October 16.
Ricardo Mannetti's boys played to a 1-1 draw against Zambia in their last Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on September 8.
The Brave Warriors are bottom of Group K with one point, and need to inject life into their campaign, if they harbour any ambitions of making it to Cameroon in 2019.
Mannetti, just like his Botswana counterpart, will rely on local based talent for the friendly encounter.
The Zebras squad
Goalkeepers: Ezekiel Morake, Keagile Kgosipula
Defenders: Simisane Mathumo (capt), Thabang Mosige, Lesego Kereedilwe, Thero Setsile, Thatayaone
Ditlhokwe, Tshepo Maikano
Midfielders: Mosha Gaolaolwe, Lebogang Ditsile, Tapiwa Gadibolae, Keoagile Kobe, Molebatsi Tlhalefo,
Karabo Phiri, Tshepo Malegas, Mpho Kgomo, Motsholetsi Sikele
Strikers: Tumisang Orebonye, Omaatla Kebatho, Bonolo Fraizer
The Brave Warriors squad
Ratanda Mbazuvara, Vipua Tjimune, Abel Paulus, Larry Horaeb, Vitapi Ngaruka, Emilio Martin, Donovan Kanjaa, Kennedy Eib, Charles Hambira, Lubeni Haukongo, Approcious Petrus, Baloyi Tsandib, Brandon Neibeb, Pandeni Kandjabanga, Benyamen Nenkavu, Ronald Ketjijere, Marcel Papama, Anthony Kham, Romeo Kasume, Hiha Katjivena, Petrus Shitembi, Absalom Iimbondi, Lucky Heita, Muna Katupose, Sadney Urikhob, Jandja Maharero, Brendon Katoungondo, Rivaldo Sergio Festus, Dynamo Fredericks.