2018 CAF World Cup Qualifier

South Africa vs Burkina Faso | Saturday 7 October | FNB Stadium | 15:00

South Africa are now rooted to the foot of Group D with one point after suffering two defeats on the bounce against Cape Verde both home and away, and having the three points they collected against Senegal taken away due to alleged corruption. On the other hand, Burkina Faso top the table with six points and will be looking to steer clear of second-placed Cape Verde who have the same amount of points. How is this match likely to unfold? Let’s take a look…

To Win
South Africa 13/10
Draw 37/20
Burkina Faso 26/10

South Africa

Bafana Bafana’s crisis keeps deepening. After losing both legs against Cape Verde, they were docked the three points they collected against Senegal and ordered to replay the match. They are now rooted to the foot of the Group D table with one point in three matches. Just when all that was sinking in, the squad was dealt a terrible blow, with their captain, Thulani Hlatshwayo sustaining a knee injury that keeps him out of the game. Cape Town City’s captain Robyn Johannes has been called up to replace him.

It doesn’t end there, towering defender, Eric Mathoho, has been charged with violent conduct for the infamous incident in the match against Cape Verde and has been suspended for two games and fined a sum of R70 000. Tower has been replaced by Motjeka Madisha of Mamelodi Sundowns. That means Stuart Baxter has to field a new centre-back pairing.

The hosts can draw confidence from the fact that they managed to hold the visitors to a 1-1 draw in Burkina Faso. They have goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune, back from injury. Dino Ndlovu whose Qarabag FK are playing Champions League football this season is also part of the squad and Lebogang Mothiba scored a hat-trick for his Valenciennes FC in the French Ligue 2 this past weekend.

South Africa Squad

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Orlando Pirates), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United)

Defenders: Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Motjeka Madisha (Mamelodi Sundowns), Reeve Frosler (Bidvest Wits), Thami Mkhize (Cape Town City), Sifiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits), Robyn Johannes (Cape Town City), Tebogo Langerman (Mamelodi Sundowns), Clayton Daniels (SuperSport United)

Midfielders: Andile Jali (KV Oostende, Belgium), Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Zungu (Amiens SC, France), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford, England), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier, France), Thulani Serero (Vitesse, Netherlands)

Forwards: Phakamani Mahlambi (Al Ahly, Egypt), Lebo Mothiba (Valenciennes, France), Lebogang Manyama (Konyaspor, Turkey), Bradley Grobler (SuperSport United), Dino Ndlovu (Qarabag FK, Azerbaijan), Percy Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Burkina Faso

The Stallions of Burkina Faso are having their best chance to qualify for the world’s greatest soccer spectacle for the very first time ever! They lead Group D with six points, joint-tied with second-placed Cape Verde. They have to beat South Africa and hope Senegal and Cape Verde cancel each other out.

Coach Paulo Duarte has named a strong side which has the likes of Aristide Bance‚ Charles Kabore‚ Bakary Kone and the Traore brothers Alain and Bertrand, however, star midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa who’s currently clubless doesn’t make the cut.

The club arrived on Monday, five days before the match to acclimatise to the conditions of South African highveld which shows how seriously they’re taking this crucial clash.

Burkina Faso Squad

Goalkeepers: Daouda Diakite (AS Vita Club‚ DR Congo)‚ Herve Koffi (Lille‚ France)‚ Germain Sanou (Beauvais‚ France)

Defenders: Yacouba Coulibaly (Le Havre‚ France)‚ Bakary Kone (Malaga‚ Spain)‚ Mohamed Gnontcha Kone (Lokomotiv Tashkent‚ Uzbekistan)‚ Mohamed Ouattara (Wydad Casablanca‚ Morocco)‚ Dylan Ouedraogo (Monaco‚ France)‚ Issouf Paro (Niort‚ France)‚ Steeve Yago (Toulouse‚ France)

Midfielders: Yaya Banhoro (Santos‚ Brazil)‚ Adama Guira (Aarhus‚ Denmark)‚ Charles Kabore (Krasnodar‚ Russia)‚ Stephane Aziz Ki (Omonia Nicosia‚ Cyprus)‚ Bakaru Bouba Sare (Belenenses‚ Portugal)‚ Ousmane Junior Sylla (CS Constantine‚ Algeria)‚ Ibrahim Blati Toure (Omonia Nicosia‚ Cyprus)‚ Alain Traore (Al Markhiya‚ Qatar)

Forwards: Aristide Bance (Al Masry‚ Egypt)‚ Cyrille Bayala (Sheriff Tiraspol‚ Moldova)‚ Banou Diawara (Smouha‚ Egypt)‚ Anthony Koura (Nancy‚ France)‚ Prejuce Nakoulma (Nantes‚ France)‚ Bertrand Traore (Lyon‚ France)

Prediction: Draw (37/20)
Bafana Bafana go into this one with a depleted defence with regular players like Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Rivaldo Coetzee, Eric Mathoho and Thulani Hlatshwayo (captain) out of the clash, however, they’ve got a fantastic attack force and midfield. If Baxter makes the right selections, the team might at least get a point. I’d go for a draw.

Benedict Ngwenya

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