Five key men for Bafana Bafana
Posted: 6 October 2017 Time: 12:15
After the disappointing results against Cape Verde in September, Bafana Bafana need soldiers on the pitch to secure a much needed victory over Burkina Faso at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Bafana take on a Burkina Faso side that currently sits on top of Group D in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, so the hosts will need key players to rise to the occasion.
Ahead of the match in Soweto tomorrow, KickOff.com looks at five players coach Stuart Baxter can count on as he searches for his first win in the World Cup qualifiers.
Khune returns to the team after he was missed the last two matches against Cape Verde. Bafana had Ronwen Williams and Wayne Sandilands in goal for the two matches, but both of them were not convincing. The Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper is the country’s undisputed number one and having him on the pitch will remind the Burkinabe players of the penalty he saved when they met in a 1-1 draw with Ouagadougou last year.
When he came on as a substitute in the match against Cape Verde at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Jali made a huge difference and even scored Bafana's only goal in a 2-1 defeat. It remains a mystery why Baxter waited so long to bring him on. With Dean Furman out serving a suspension, Jali should get the nod in the starting line-up. He gets stuck into challenges and plays a key role in getting the team forward.
The Mamelodi Sundowns man is full of running and this is what keeps defenders on their toes. He has shown in the CAF Champions League with Sundowns that he can take on the big players on the continent, so coming up against Burkina Faso’s defenders will not scare him at all.
He comes into the Bafana camp high on confidence, eager to prove that he can perform even though the country he plies his trade in, Azerbaijan, is often undermined. He’s a big player who will not be bullied by the Burkina Faso defenders, but he’d need supply from his teammates to have a chance of scoring. Baxter could play Ndlovu upfront in the absence of Tokelo Rantie.
The Montpellier winger has not quite been at his best for Bafana in recent times, but he has the ability to find a chink in the opposition's armour with his pace and ball skills. Bafana will need the former Mamelodi Sundowns man to whip in those crosses from the left side consistently, to have a shot of breaching the Burkinabe defence.