Predicted Bafana XI for crucial AFCON opener

Thulani Serero (Gallo Images)
Thulani Serero (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - After not getting much game-time ahead of their opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) fixture against Ivory Coast, Sport24's Tashreeq Vardien predicts the Bafana Bafana starting XI for Monday's clash.

South Africa held Ghana to a goalless draw in their only warm-up match last week and were hoping to get another run out against Angola as head coach Stuart Baxter looks to select his best XI for their opening fixture.

However, upon their arrival in Egypt on Tuesday the Scotsman opted for a training match between his selected 23-man squad due to Angola cancelling the scheduled international friendly on Wednesday afternoon.

The Southern African nation called the game off citing a 'lack of training' despite arriving in Cairo two days before Bafana Bafana landed.

Having gone unbeaten in the AFCON qualifiers, it is expected that Baxter will not make wholesale changes.

Keeping the core of the squad, Darren Keet is expected to be entrusted with protecting the Bafana goal while captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and Buhle Mkhwanazi will be in the heart of the defence.

Thamsanqa Mkhize will be chosen ahead of Ramahlwe Mphahlele at right-back following his fantastic season with Cape Town City with Sifiso Hlanti taking care of things at left-back. 

The industrious Dean Furman, who earlier this week spoke exclusively to Sport24 ahead of the fixture, will partner with Kamohelo Mokotjo in front of the defensive line.

Meanwhile, Thulani Sererro looks set to operate in his favourite No 10 role.

There couldn't be an easier pick for Baxter with the 2018/19 Absa Premiership Player of the Year Thembinkosi Lorch playing up front on the right with Percy Tau hoping to dominate the West Africans on the left.

Lebo Mothiba has been a revelation for South Africa up front and will get the nod to lead the attack as the centre-forward, but Lars Veldwijk could be called upon to change things up in the later stages of the match following his incredible season with Sparta Rotterdam. 

Kick-off is at 16:30 on Monday (SA time).

Predicted Bafana Bafana starting XI:

Darren Keet, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Sifiso Hlanti, Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Thulani Serero, Thembinkosi Lorch, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba




Darren Keet (Wits), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Rowen Williams (SuperSport United)


Daniel Cardoso (Kaizer Chiefs), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Kaizer Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Wits), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Sifiso Hlanti (Wits), Buhle Mkhwanazi (Wits), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City)


Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Dean Furman (SuperSport United), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Tiyani Mabunda (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thulani Serero (Vitesse), Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)


Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg), Percy Tau (Royal St Union), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam), Lebogang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Mamelodi Sundowns)

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