Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba didn’t do his homework ahead of South Africa’s last clash against Mauritania.
We’ve all had those nightmares of showing up to a test without studying.
Either you come show up with nothing to write with or with no pants on.
For Shakes, it was all rolled into one and his team were given in a 3-1 hiding of a lesson for being unprepared.
So this time around, Mashaba will get some help so he isn’t caught with his pants down again – and regain some pride with South Africa out of the reckoning for the Afcon 2017 already.
Les Mourabitones have not been in great form recently – they have won just two of their last six competitive games, including their famous win over SA.
They are already out of the running for World Cup 2018 qualification after losing both their two-legged Round 1 clash with Tunisia.
Here are the danger men SA will face at the Mbombela Stadium.
Ahmed Khalil —Striker (5 goals)
The 28-year-old Algeria-based ace scored the last time out, sealing his side’s shock victory over a floundering Bafana.
That were the South Africans were blindsided by coach Shakes’ failure to prepare will not make their job any easier against the hard-running attacker.
His runs will test Bafana’s defence again.
Khalil prompts the attack with his clever movement into space.
And that got Bafana’s ill-advised debutant Siyabonga Zulu sent off for a foul on Diakite.
Taghiyoulla Denna — Midfielder (3 goals)
Denna as a lot going for him as the anchor man of the Les Mourabitones midfielder.
Not only is the 30-year-old a seasoned campaigner, with the ability to shield his defence, he also three goals to his name in international football.
His battle with Bafana’s midfield will be intriguing as he looks to break up SA’s short passing game and set it his team off on the counter.
If Shakes is to minimise the influence of Denna, he needs to get someone to sit on the playmaker throughout the match or flood the midfield to smother him.
Shakes should think of telling on one his front men to drop back and mark the Mauritania playmaker.
That way, SA can boss the game high up on the pitch.
Aly Abied —Defender (1 goal)
Abied’s only goal for Mauritania broke the deadlock the last time this two sides faced one another.
His seventh-minute freekick was spilled by Itumeleng Khune, which set the tone for SA’s humiliation.
The teenager, though, gave a good account of himself down the flank, helping the hosts attack with pace and boxing Bafana in.
Shakes likes to get his fullbacks involved upfront, so our tactical game needs to be up to scratch to get the better of the opposition.