Our soccer analyst makes predictions on the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Burkina Faso on Saturday 7 October 2017.
South Africa are now rooted to the foot of Group D with one points after suffering two defeats on the bounce against Cape Verde both at home and away, and having the three points they collected against Senegal being taken away due to alleged corruption. On the other hand, Burkina Faso top the table with six points and will be looking to steer clear of second-placed Cape Verde who have the same amount of points. How is this match likely to unfold? Let’s take a look…
World Cup Qualifier | Saturday 7 October | FNB Stadium | 15:00
To Win (90 mins)
South Africa 13/10 | Draw 2/1 | Burkina Faso 47/20
Bafana Bafana’s crisis keeps deepening. After losing both legs against Cape Verde, they were docked the three points they collected against Senegal and ordered to replay the match. They are now rooted to the foot of Group D table with one point in three matches. Just when all that was sinking in, the squad was dealt terrible blow, with their captain, Thulani Hlatshwayo sustaining a knee injury that keeps him out of the game. Robyn Johannes has been called up to replace him.
It doesn’t end there, towering defender, Eric Mathoho has been charged with violent conduct for the infamous incident in the match against Cape Verde and has been suspended for two games and fined a sum of R70 000. Tower has been replaced by Motjeka Madisha of Mamelodi Sundowns. That means Stuart Baxter has to field a new centre-back pairing.
The hosts can draw confidence from the fact that they managed to hold the visitors to a 1-1 draw in Burkina Faso. They have goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune back from injury. Dino Ndlovu whose Fk Qarabag are playing Champions League football this season is also part of the squad and Lebogang Mothiba scored a hat-trick for his Valenciennes FC in the French Ligue 2 this past weekend.
The Stallions of Burkina Faso are having their best chance to qualify for the world’s greatest soccer spectacle for the very first time ever! They lead Group D with six points and they are tied on points with second-placed Cape Verde. They have to beat South Africa and hope Senegal and Cape Verde cancel each other out.
Coach Paulo Duarte has named a strong side which has the likes of Aristide Bance‚ Charles Kabore‚ Bakary Kone and the Traore brothers Alain and Bertrand, however, star midfielder who’s currently clubless doesn’t make the cut.
The club arrived on Monday, five days before the match to acclimatise to the conditions of South African highveld which shows how seriously they’re taking this crucial clash.
Verdict: Draw 2/1
Bafana Bafana go into this one with a depleted defence with regular players like Rivaldo Coetzee, Eric Mathoho and Thulani Hlatshwayo (captain) out of the clash, however they’ve got a fantastic attack force and midfield. If the coach makes right selections the team might at least get a point. I’d go for a stalemate.