Sat, 15 Aug 2020

Predicted Bafana XI for crucial AFCON opener

23 Jun 2019, 22:12 GMT+10

Cape Town - After not getting much game-time ahead of their opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations fixture against Ivory Coast, Sport24's Tashreeq Vardien predicts the Bafana Bafana starting XI for Monday's clash.

South Africa held Ghana to a goalless draw in their only warm-up match last week and were hoping to get another run out against Angola as head coach Stuart Baxter looks to select his best eleven for their opening fixture.

However, upon their arrival on Tuesday the Scotsman had to opt for a training match between his selected 23-man squad due to Angola cancelling the scheduled international friendly on Wednesday afternoon.

The Southern African nation called the game off citing a 'lack of training' despite arriving in Cairo, Egypt two days before Bafana Bafana landed.

Having gone unbeaten in the AFCON qualifiers, it is expected that Baxter will not make wholesale changes.

Keeping the core of the squad, Darren Keet is expected to be entrusted with protecting the goal while captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and Buhle Mkwkanazi will be in the heart of the defence.

Thamsanqa Mkhize will be chosen ahead of Ramahlwe Mphahlele at right-back following his fantastic season with Cape Town City with Sifiso Hlanti taking care of things at left-back.

The industrious Dean Furman, who earlier this week spoke exclusively to Sport24 ahead of the fixture, will partner up with Kamohelo Mokotjo in front of the defensive-line.

Meanwhile, Thulani Sererro looks set to operate in his favourite number 10 role.

There couldn't be an easier pick for Baxter with the 2018/19 Absa Premiership Player of the Year Thembinkosi Lorch playing upfront on the right with Percy Tau hoping to dominate the West Africans on the left.

Lebo Mothiba has been a revelation for South Africa upfront and will get the nod to lead the attack as the centre-forward but Lars Veldwijk could definitely be called upon to change things up in the later stages of the game following his incredible season with Sparta Rotterdam.

Kick-off is at 16:30 on Monday (SA time).

Predicted Bafana Bafana starting XI:

Darren Keet, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkwhanazi, Sifiso Hlanti, Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Thulani Serero, Thembinkosi Lorch, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba.



Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Dean Furman (SuperSport United), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Tiyani Mabunda (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thulani Serero (Vitesse), Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)

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