Burkinabe are riding high

01 October 2017 - 00:08 By SAZI HADEBE

The following are key players to watch when The Stallions of Burkina Faso take on Bafana Bafana at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Kickoff is at 3pm.
1. Prejuce Nakoulma (30): striker (Nantes, France)
Nakoulma gained prominence at this year's Africa Cup of Nations. In that event he scored three goals, one against hosts Gabon and two against Tunisia in the quarterfinals.
He has established a deadly partnership with Banou Diawara, the target man who scored the equaliser against Bafana in the first leg 1-1 draw in Ouagadougou in October.
2. Aristide Bance (33): striker (Al Masry, Egypt)
Bance is the most well-known Burkinabe in the Premier Soccer League having had a short stint with Chippa United last season.
With age no longer on his side, he often comes off the bench to good effect. His 21 goals in 69 internationals tells a tale of a marksman with immense experience gained in Europe and on the continent.
3. Charles Kabore (29): central midfielder (Krasnodar, Russia)
Kabore is the man who orchestrates most of the moves in the middle of the park. He played a sterling role in Gabon in January, steering his country to a third-place finish.
He is no showman, preferring instead to keep things simple after winning possession. With over 80 caps and four goals, he provides vital leadership as the team captain.
4. Alain Traore (28): attacking midfielder (Al Markhiya, Qatar)
Traore is the most gifted of the Burkina Faso attacking midfield players. He is armed with an educated left foot which makes him an ideal No10.
His scoring record at national level is admirable with 20 in 53 matches, including the great free kick against Ghana which won his team bronze in Gabon. He is the one player Bafana must avoid giving time on the ball as he often changes the shape of the match.
Paulo Duarte (48): Coach of Burkina Faso
The Portuguese is in his second spell as head coach of The Stallions after his return in December 2015. He's now armed with massive experience in African football having had stints, firstly with Burkina Faso (2008/2012) before coaching Gabon (2012/2013) and Sfaxien of Tunisia in 2015.
Under his guidance The Stallions are yet to lose a competitive match since winning bronze in Gabon. The team started their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on a strong note by beating Angola 3-1 in Ouagadougou.

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