Players such as Cheikhou Kouyate, Sadio Mane, Idrissa Gueye and Diafra Sakho are playing their football in the English Premier League, but Hlatshwayo, a player who is known to get stuck into challenges, does not fear the opposition.
Bafana host the Lions of Teranga at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday, knowing that anything less than a victory would end their hopes of playing in Russia next year.
“I personally believe that we can do it because we as players know how important this game is for us.,” said Hlatshwayo, who scored from the penalty spot when Bafana beat Senegal 2-1 in Polokwane last year, before FIFA ordered the game to be replayed after referee Joseph Lamptey had been found guilty of manipulating the result.
“If I were to make an example, we played Nigeria away and they had all the big names. We stuck to our game plan and we played. Whether Mane is there or he is not there, we need to stick to our game and execute everything we have been doing,” the Bidvest Wits man added.
Hlatshwayo has a problem with a bruised toe, but has been training with the team and looks comfortable when he is running.
On Tuesday, he was pulled off for the last few minutes of training as a precautionary measure.
It’s still unclear if he will start the game on Friday. Should he not play, Bafana have enough cover in central defence, with the likes of Morgan Gould, Clayton Daniels and Mulomowandau Mathoho raring to go.
Bafana have scheduled two training sessions today as they continue to prepare for the test against the west Africans.