Bafana squad preview: Defenders

Bafana are set to play Libya in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium on September 8. The back-four has a big job to ensure the visitors do not rattle the back of the net.

In central defence, Baxter will have his captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and the question is who will play alongside him. The likes of Buhle Mkhwanazi, Daniel Cardoso, Taariq Fielies, Motjeka Madisha, Siyanda Xulu, Rushine De Reuck and 20-year-old Keanu Cupido are more than capable of getting the job done.

Right-back is a position where Baxter has quite a few options. Firstly, there’s the option to play Hlatshwayo at right-back, where he is currently playing for his club Wits. Thamsanqa Mkhize, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Thapelo Morena are other options available to the former Kaizer Chiefs coach.

At left-back Innocent Maela is a man Baxter could be looking at to start. Maela did well in national colours during the Four Nations tournament in Zambia in March and could have done enough to get a nod when the squad is announced tomorrow. Maela will have competition from Wits’ Sifiso Hlanti, who was the first choice in that position during the World Cup qualifiers.

Tebogo Langerman, Lyle Lakay, Aubrey Modiba and Under-20 star Sibusiso Mabiliso are other options.