Mzansi’s number one will be the key for Bafana at the back. The incumbent PSL Goalkeeper of the Season has endured a terrible start at club level with Kaizer Chiefs, as defenders have let him down. On his day, Khune is difficult to beat between the posts. He wears his passion on his sleeve, and is one player who will always give his all for his country. His ball distribution is second to none, and Percy Tau and Keagan Dolly are expected to profit from Khune’s pinpoint distribution on the flanks. Khune is not only capable of keeping goal, but he can also create them.
Hlatshwayo has been rock solid at the back for Bidvest Wits, and opened his tenure as the national team captain on a positive note as he led the country to an historic victory against Nigeria in Uyo. Hlatshwayo is expected to win aerial duets and start play from the back. His leadership skills and calmness will be key, and if Baxter doesn’t want to complicate things he should partner Buhle Mkhwanazi and Wits' team mate Hlatshwayo.
In the absence of Bongani Zungu and Hlompo Kekana all eyes will be on Mokotjo to put in a strong display in the middle of the park. He will be tasked with marshalling the midfield, making things happen and breaking down attacks from Libya. One of his major weapons is his ability to read the game.
Everything that he touches seems to turn to gold these days. He recently opened his account for his new side Royale Union Saint-Gillloise in Belgium, and against Nigeria, he wrapped up the game with the second goal. The mercurial Tau is expected to operate on the right in a three men attack which is likely to include Dolly on the left and Grobler as the focal point. His pace, zeal and exuberance will cause a lot of havoc for Libya if he is on his best form. Tau can be devastating if he is given more freedom and space to manoeuvre.
Grobler has been in rich vein of form infront of goals. He was the chief tormentor against Chiefs in a two-legged MTN8 semi-final, netting three goals in two matches. The lanky marksman is hungry and netted one for Bafana against AmaZulu in a friendly match in KwaMashu. The supply will be key. Libya has struggled in the air, and Grobler is very deadly in that area. Crosses from the likes of Sifiso Hlanti and Ramahlwe Mphahlele will be pivotal for Grobler. The striking position is up for grabs and there’s no better chance than this one for him to establish himself. Tokelo Rantie has been the main man for Bafana upfront in recent times but his absence in the past year has left the striking position vacant.@minenhlecr7
Independent on Saturday