Baxter reveals Bafana focal points

Bafana will face the Barea, who finished top of Group A, in their opening clash of the 2018 COSAFA Cup in Polokwane on Sunday.

Having beaten Mozambique and Comoros while drawing with Seychelles in their group ties, Baxter has already worked out what sort of approach the Madagascans have undertaken in the tournament as he plans to counter it.

"They have very good players, and also very technical. They play very quick and tackle very quick so we have to take a lot of care with our ball possession," Baxter told SAFA in the build-up to the contest.

"We also need to pay a lot of attention to our defending, especially in one-on-one situations, so we don’t get dominated physically.

“They are very speedy and as such they turn the ball very often, so our transitions will be very important as well.”

With the British tactician having spent all week in training with his newly assembled troops, he is confident they will get the job done against the islanders.

“We have played a little friendly game and a little 11 vs 11 – that’s all my team has played together, and the first game will be probably the most difficult for us because we have to play, get together and gel a little bit," he noted.

"So, it’s a difficult game in a lot of ways but it is one I think the boys can handle based on what I have seen of the squad, and I am hopeful we can deal with this game and the tournament then opens us for us.”

Should Bafana suffer defeat on Sunday, they will contest the plate semi-finals next Tuesday against the loser between Zambia and Namibia, who play on Saturday.

Victory against Madagascar will see the hosts take on the winners of the same fixture in the semi-final next week Wednesday.