Senegal will become the first team to book a place in the African Nations Cup quarterfinals if they beat Zimbabwe in their Group B encounter in Franceville on Thursday.
The side are looking for a second successive win after opening with a 2-0 victory over Tunisia last Sunday, when they scored two early goals then sat back as their opponents wasted a myriad of second half chances.
Zimbabwe, who were the group outsiders at the start of the tournament, surprised many with the fluency of their attack and came close to winning their first game before they conceded a late equaliser to Algeria.
They will need to shore up their defence, however, if they are to keep Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and his teammates at bay.
The game is preceded in Franceville by a North African derby between Algeria and Tunisia, who will both looking for a first win to revitalise their campaigns.
Algeria will be without injured Hilal Soudani, while goalkeeper Rais Mbohli and striker Islam Slimani are doubtful.
Defeat will end Tunisia’s chances of advancing but coach Henryk Kasperczak remains hopeful that they can turn around their situation.
“Defeat does not bring happiness, there are always traces of disappointment and we’ve had to improve the morale of the players, but we’ve worked hard,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Cameroon beat Guinea Bissau 2-1 on Wednesday to take control of Group A after Gabon were held to another draw, a 1-1 stalemate against Burkina Faso that leaves the host nation’s hopes of advancing to the knockout stage hanging by a thread.