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Thulani Hlatshwayo talks up defensive partnership with Buhle Mkwanazi for Bafana Bafana

Posted: 8 September 2018 Time: 09:00

Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo feels the national team can benefit a lot from his solid combination at the back with Buhle Mkwanazi.

READ: Furman acknowledges Bafana failures

Mkwanazi returned to Bafana reckoning in March when the side won the Four Nations tournament in Zambia, having received his previous call-up in May 2014 for a friendly with New Zealand.

 The Durban-born centre-back is in the Bafana squad that is currently preparing for today's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Group E leaders Libya at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Hlatshwayo and Mkhwanazi were colossal in defence when Bidvest Wits won the league for the first time in their 96-year history in 2017, as well as during their MTN8 triumph last year.

The duo have impressed again this season for the Absa Premiership leaders, although Hlatshwayo has been shifted to right-back to accommodate new signing Robyn Johannes.

Both big men are dangerous in the air, with coach Stuart Baxter on Monday indicating Bafana will look to attack on set-pieces against the north Africans this weekend.

"Given the chance playing with him [Mkhwanazi] I won't have a problem," said Hlatshwayo, who is one of five Wits players in the Bafana camp.

"Ever since this season started I've been playing as right-back.

"So it's up to the coach where he will he play me. But obviously we know one another, the communication will be there, and it'll be an easier job for us to make sure that we don't concede a goal.

"I think our combination will also bear fruit for the country."

Bafana will meet Libya for the first time at 15h00 this afternoon, with both nations on three points in Group E. Bafana beat Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo, while the visitors thumped Seychelles 5-1.

With the African Nations Cup now expanded to 24 teams, the winners and runners-up of each group will qualify for the tournament to be hosted next year in Cameroon.

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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