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Key battles in Bafana Bafana vs Senegal Group D 2018 World Cup qualifier

Posted: 10 November 2017 Time: 14:20

As Bafana Bafana prepare to host Senegal in a must-win 2018 World Cup qualifier this evening, looks at the key battles that could ensue.

Central Midfield Battle

Arguably the toughest battle will be in midfield, where Dean Furman, Lebogang Manyama and Kamohelo Mokotjo have been deployed this evening.

The central trio, with Manyama in an advanced role and Furman and Mokotjo providing protection behind him, could come up against the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate, Idrissa Gueye and Saliou Ciss or Salif Sane.

Senegal will look to use their midfield to cut short Bafana's supply, before trying to feed wingers Sadio Mane and Keita Balde. However, retaining possession, quick movement and combination play will be key for Stuart Baxter's men.

Fullbacks vs Wingers

Thamsanqa Mkhize and Sifiso Hlanti will have to be on high alert to the obvious threat of Mane and Balde, while Bafana's wingers Themba Zwane and Sibusiso Vilakazi will also have to track back in support.

Going forward, Hlanti and Mkhize will have to be savvy in possession as they look to feed Zwane and Vilakazi upfield, as well as Manyama through the middle, forcing the Senegal wingers to also drop and defend.

Tau vs Koulibaly

Tau will likely be deployed as Bafana's lone striker and will have his work cut out in trying to get past Senegal's centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.

The 23-year-old forward will look to use his pace, skill and intelligent movement to get through the middle while occasionally dropping short to create space behind the defense for the runs of Manyama, Zwane and Vilakazi.

Gould, Daniels vs Sakho

Morgan Gould and Clayton Daniels will have to be on top form to restrict the effectiveness of Diafra Sakho. The West Ham United forward, who scored in the 2-0 win over Cape Verde last month, will be as much a threat through the middle as Mane and Balde out wide.

Gould and Daniels will have to be relentless in closing down Sakho, and make sure they do not concede fouls in dangerous areas in and around the 18-yard box, as Senegal could cause havoc with any set-pieces.

Article by: Chad Klate (@CKlatey)
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