Though not neighbours Zimbabwe and Malawi have a long-standing rivalry and have met in a myriad of encounters but have never met at the AFCON finals.
This is the only match at the tournament that will have so much connection with the top two-tier leagues in South Africa.
The Warriors will have Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars), Gerald Takwara (Venda Academy), Onismor Bhasera, Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United) and Ishmael Wadi (JDR Stars) plus the familiar faces of Teenage Hadabe and Knowledge Musona who played for Kaizer Chiefs before along with Prince Dube (ex-SuperSport United and Black Leopards).
On the other end, The Flames will feature Limbikani Mzava (AmaZulu), Denis Chembedzi, Khuda Muyaba (Polokwane City), Richard Mbulu (Baroka) and Gabadinho Mhango (Orlando Pirates).
They also have John Banda (Black Leopards), Micium Mhone (Jomo Cosmos), Gerald Phiri Junior (Ajax Cape Town, Baroka) and Robin Ngalande (Ajax Cape Town, Platinum Stars, BidVest Wits, Baroka).
Both countries lost their opening games and need a win today to stand a chance of progressing to the last 16.
Warriors are led by former Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza who also played for Ajax Cape Town.
"We have been working on recovery after the last-minute loss to Senegal. We have a very good side, and we know our game against Malawi is a must win. I spoke to the players who were very emotional, and I am happy they have decided to forget the Senegal game.
"I am not going to make changes to my squad but will just emphasise consistency and use our chances effectively," says Mapeza ahead of the game.
Meck Mwase – who is the assistant coach of Malawi after being demoted – played for Cosmos.
"We had a very good but unlucky performance against Guinea. We took note of our mistakes and playing Zimbabwe will be totally different. We have some players back after missing the first game. Zimbabwe are a very good side tactically, but I have told my players we are in a must win situation," says Mwase.