Bafana Bafana host the Seychelles in a Group E AFCON 2019 qualifier at Soccer City on Saturday afternoon, a game where there will be no excuses for anything other than a comfortable win.
Bafana blew a golden opportunity to go clear at the top of the Group E standings when they drew 0-0 with Libya in Durban just over a month ago. As it stands they are second to Libya on goal difference with a total of 4 points from their 2 group outings whilst Nigeria are in third, 1 point in arrears. The top 2 sides will advance from the group and it looks like any 2 from those top 3 so this game and the return with the Seychelles 3 days later are must win matches for Bafana.
Bafana’s opening match in Group E was a tough assignment in Nigeria and they put in one of their best displays in recent years to beat the Super Eagles 2-0. That game was staged back in June 2017 and since then things have hardly gone well for Stuart Baxter and the national team. South Africa’s challenge to qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia faded on the back of defeats home and away to Cape Verde. That puts more pressure on this qualifying campaign with the finals scheduled to take place in Cameroon in 2019.
Thapelo Morena and Vincent Pule have pulled out with injuries and Stuart Baxter has called up Thamsanqa Mkhize and Thembinkosi Lorch as the replacements.
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune), Ronwen Williams, Darren Keet
Defenders: Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Motjeka Madisha, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Siyanda Xulu, Innocent Maela, Thulani Hlatshwayo, S'Fiso Hlanti, Buhle Mkhwanazi
Midfielders: Aubrey Modiba, Dean Furman, Teboho Mokoena, Hlompho Kekana, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Lebogang Maboe, Thabo Nodada, Kamohelo Mokotjo
Forwards: Lebogang Phiri, Dino Ndlovu, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba, Phakamani Mahlambi
Seychelles are bottom of the group having lost both their matches so far. They were thrashed 5-1 by Libya first time out and last month they went down 3-0 at home to Nigeria. Without wishing to come across as disrespectful they have very little in the way of form to offer encouragement for an upset.
South Africa 1 / 11
Note, odds quoted are an approximate average and are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change
Libya were probably a more enterprising side than had been expected but Bafana were still very disappointing in that 0-0 draw last month and they missed the chance to take control of the group. Should they fail again here, or in the return Baxter’s side will face a tough task to qualify but it’s hard to call a surprise and I’ll be disappointed if Bafana don’t find the net at least 3 times.
Bet: Totals Home Team, 3 or more at 7/10
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