Sports Mole previews Friday’s international friendlies clash between South Africa and Guinea, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Both on the back of failed World Cup qualifying bids, South Africa and Guinea will face off in an international friendly on Friday.
The Bafana Bafana missed out on progressing to the next stage of the African qualifiers by the narrowest of margins, while Guinea recently took part in the Africa Cup of Nations.
After a draw with Zimbabwe in their opening match, South Africa looked set to advance to the final stage of the African World Cup qualifiers by recording four straight wins, including a 1- 0 at home against favorites Ghana.
In these games, Hugo BroosThe side scored six goals while allowing only one at the other end, leaving them three points clear of Ghana with a slightly better goal difference going into their final day encounter.
The Bafana Bafana knew they only had to avoid defeat to progress, but they couldn’t because Andre AyewThe goal was the difference in a 1-0 victory for the hosts.
It saw them improve on points and goal difference with South Africa and progress thanks to scoring one more goal, cruelly depriving Broos’ men of a place in the third round.
After surprisingly failing to qualify for the recent Africa Cup of Nations, the national team will return to action after a desperate four-month hiatus to boost morale and put last year’s disappointment behind them with a victory on Friday.
They meet a Guinean side who entered the continental tournament after struggling to keep pace with their World Cup qualifying group.
Having failed to win any of their six games, Syli National retired in third place, but the same could not be said for their Africa Cup of Nations campaign, as they qualified for the knockout phase thanks to a victory over Malawi and an honorable draw with eventual winners Senegal.
The Gambia were waiting for the round of 16 and, with an injured team, Kaba Diawarathe team could not go further because Moussa Barrow scored the game’s only goal in the final 15 minutes to send them home.
As a result, Syli National will also enter this series of friendlies to regain their form before meeting Zambia next week.
South Africa form (all competitions):
Guinea form (all competitions):
South Africa summoned a relatively inexperienced squad, with a goalkeeper and a captain Ronwen Williams be a key leader.
Percy Tau will likely lead the attack, having scored 13 goals in 34 international caps.
It can be supported by a young prospect Makgopa evidencewho enjoyed an impressive start to his career with the national team, scoring three goals in six appearances.
Guinea suffered a major loss recently, as the star man Naby Keita was forced to withdraw from the team due to injury.
Liverpool midfielder rules his nation, leaving experienced players as defender Ibrahima Conte and midfield Ibrahima Cisse to lead the team.
Roma Amadou Diawara will be another particularly key man, likely anchoring the midfielder alongside Cissé, while RB Leipzig hopeful Ilaix Moriba should be given the green light in attack.
Possible starting line-up for South Africa:
Williams; Mobbie, Xulu, De Reuck, Mashego; Mvana, Mokoena, Dolly; Tau, Makgopa, Hlongwane
Possible starting line-up from Guinea:
Koné; Sow, Conté, Kante; S Sylla, Diawara, Cisse, Kane, I Sylla; Moriba, Bayo
We say: South Africa 1-1 Guinea
While Guinea may boast a stronger squad, the loss of a key man helps to level the playing field, and they come up against a South African side that have been impressive recently.
The Bafana Bafana were resilient in qualifying and, although they came up short, they showed they could hold their own against the strongest African nations.
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