Bafana Bafana's Carlos Queiroz is not the only coach to have problems with key players ahead of a major international.
Egypt, who arrived on Thursday morning to play Bafana in a friendly at the Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm), jetted in minus their two star players, striker Hosam Hasan, who is also the continent's most capped player, and defender Hany Ramzy.
Hasam is out with a hamstring injury while Ramzy's German club Kaiserslautern refused him permission to travel.
The Pharaohs coach, Mohamed El Gohari, put on a brave face when asked about the effect of taking the field without his leading striker and an experienced defender.
"We have a young side with a number of budding stars and although we will miss both players, we have plenty of depth and we'll more than give a good account of ourselves."
Queiroz sounded more disappointed than his Egyptian counterpart when told of the setbacks to Egypt.
"That is a great pity as I hoped that all Egypt's top players would be here."
Meanwhile, the signs are that Queiroz will throw Orlando Pirates defender Mbulelo Old-John Mabizela into the deep end alongside Pierre Issa, Aaron Mokoena and Bradley Carnell in a 4-4-2 line-up.
Said the soft-spoken Mabizela after training on Thursday: "I learnt so much this week playing with all the overseas stars. If I get my chance I'm confident I will do well. This is a dream come true for me and if the opportunity presents itself I will grab it with both hands and I won't let the coach down."
Mabizela's rise could be meteoric as he only joined the squad as a last-minute replacement after it was discovered that Nasief Morris was recovering from chickenpox.
The Pietermaritzburg-born youngster has only three months' PSL experience under his belt but the old adage "if you're good enough you're old enough" will apply.
Adding to Queiroz's worries was a knee and ankle injury which ruled out Danish-based defender Frankie Schoeman.
Another of the regulars expected to turn in a good performance is German-based left wing Delron Buckley, who was in an upbeat mood.
"I believe we will win. This is a powerful squad the coach has assembled. Egypt have proven tough competitors in the past but I think we'll have the edge this time."
Buckley was full of praise for Queiroz.
"I really enjoy working with the coach, who is one of the best I've worked with. He is very professional and knows what he is doing."
Buckley on the left, Sibusiso Zuma on the right with Eric Tinkler playing the anchor role and Quinton Fortune as the playmaker could be a formation that Queiroz opts for.
Teboho Mokoena and veteran John "Shoes" Moshoeu will be pushing for a place in the midfield. The two strikers berths should go to captain Shaun Bartlett and Benni McCarthy while Hans Vonk will be between the posts.
In place of Hasan, Bafana defenders will have to deal with Abdel Satar Sabry, who plays for crack Portuguese club Benfica and Ahmed Salah Hosni, who plies his trade in Belgium.
Other players to look out for are left back Mohamed Emara, fellow defenders Hany Said, who plays for Phil Masinga's old Italian club Bari, plus their three Turkish-based players, defenders Ahmed Hasan - brother of Hosam, Abdel Zaher El Saka and midfielder Ayman Abd El Aziz.
The Pharaohs were due to play Liberia on Wednesday but the west Africans arrived with only eight players so the game was cancelled.