Baxter names a more attacking XI for crunch qualifier
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has made a sweeping eight changes to his team starting lineup for Bafana Bafana’s must-win 2018 World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Baxter kept to his undertaking to name a more attacking lineup from the static combination that capitulated 2-1 against Cape Verde in Durban last month.
Notably‚ Percy Tau will start up-front. Baxter has brought other players with flair into his XI‚ including Kamohelo Mokotjo‚ Andile Jali‚ and a return for Bongani Zungu.
Four of the coach’s changes are enforced or through a return from injury.
Itumeleng Khune returns from injury for Wayne Sandilands in goal. In a reshuffled defence Clayton Daniels replaces injured Thulani Hlatshwayo at centreback and Thamsanqa Mkhize is in at right-back for Ramahlwe Mphahlele.
In midfield‚ Zungu returns for suspended Dean Furman.
In a new central midfield pairing‚ Zungu will partner Mokotjo‚ who has a rare start ahead of Hlompo Kekana‚ who is dropped to the bench.
Sibusiso Vilakazi replaces Keagan Dolly – out of form in both last month’s defeats against Cape Verde – as a wide player.
Strangely‚ Baxter appears set to use Jali as a deep striker‚ replacing Bradley Grobler‚ behind Tau‚ who comes in for Tokelo Rantie‚ who was surprisingly dropped from the squad.
Question marks are that Baxter said he would introduce not just flair‚ which he has done‚ but also pace‚ but only Tau up-front has genuine speed. Thulani Serero remains absent.
Cape Town City right-back Mkhize makes his debut at right-back‚ when perhaps Motjeka Madisha‚ who has Caf Champions League experience at Mamelodi Sundowns and junior international experience‚ might have got the nod.
Bafana XI: Itumeleng Khune (capt.) – Thamsanqa Mkhize‚ Morgan Gould‚ Clayton Daniels‚ Sifiso Hlanti - Themba Zwane‚ Bongani Zungu‚ Kamohelo Mokotjo‚ Sibusiso Vilakazi - Andile Jali‚ Percy Tau
Substitutes: Ronwen Williams‚ Motjeka Madisha‚ Tebogo Langerman‚ Robyn Johannes‚ Hlompo Kekana‚ Keagan Dolly‚ Thulani Serero‚ Phakamani Mahlambi‚ Lebogang Manyama‚ Lebo Mothiba‚ Dino Ndlovu‚ Bradley Grobler