Bradley Grobler itching for Bafana Bafana's clash against Libya
Bradley Grobler may have been named on the bench but he is set to play a role in Bafana Bafana's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Libya on Saturday (kickoff 3pm).
Grobler might have a point to prove at the venue‚ Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ where he was chosen ahead of Percy Tau to partner Tokelo Rantie in what proved a disastrous 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat against Cape Verde Islands last year.
Grobler is in sharper-looking form now‚ his three goals having helped steer SuperSport United to the MTN8 final against Cape Town City.
"I think‚ from what we've seen‚ we've worked out where Libya are weak and where we can exploit those weaknesses‚" Grobler said.
"And‚ yeah‚ I think they have conceded a lot of goals on crosses‚ and I enjoy playing off crosses. Then again we've got other players who can also head the ball well.
"I think what we do have is guys who can cross a ball - and that can go a long way for us."
Grobler is‚ of course‚ close to his former SuperSport coach Baxter. His and other United players' selections raised eyebrows in the failed Russia 2018 qualifying campaign.
At the time Baxter was expected to hit the ground running going straight into pressure World Cup qualifiers‚ so his reliance on SuperSport players‚ while perhaps it backfired‚ was also somehow not a surprise.
Grobler's selection this time would seem better thought out.
The striker also feels he fits well into Baxter's style of play.
"He's a really good and easy coach to work under. He explains what he wants in depth and he drills it into players‚" the striker said.
"I enjoy the way he plays. He likes to get the ball forward. That's me. I enjoy a direct game and creating as many chances as we can."
With heavy rain in Durban on Saturday morning‚ and seemingly set to continue into the afternoon‚ the match will be played on a soggy surface.
These are never conditions Bafana have enjoyed in the past‚ but they will hope they suit Libya‚ from dry North Africa‚ even less.
SA started their Cameroon 2019 campaign with a 2-0 away win against Nigeria last year.
Libya began with a 5-1 thrashing of Seychelles in Egypt.
Bafana starting 11:
Khune (GK)‚ Mphahlele‚ Hlanti‚ Hlatshwayo (c)‚ Mkhwanazi‚ Furman‚ Mokotjo‚ Vilakazi‚ Dolly‚ Pule‚ Tau