Bafana Bafana will have to negotiate their way through an Astroturf surface that coach Stuart Baxter has described as “not the best” when they take on Cape Verde in a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier in Praia on Friday night.
We take a look at five Bafana Bafana players who will be crucial for Baxter in taking the game to the hosts in this must-win encounter.
1) Thulani Hlatshwayo
The Bafana Bafana skipper will marshal the heart of the defence with either Eric Mathoho or Morgan Gould and his familiarity with cabbage pitches while travelling on the continent with Bidvest Wits and the national team will come in handy.
2 Bongani Zungu
The artificial Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde pitch is a far cry from the pristine Portuguese Primeira Liga grounds where he turns out for Vitória Guimarães but Zungu will have to adapt very quickly if he is to make a meaningful contribution in midfield.
3) Hlompho Kekana
The Mamelodi Sundowns midfield strongman became accustomed to playing on deplorable pitches on the continent in the Caf Champions League and his experience is going to be priceless in Praia.
4) Thulani Serero
He is another player in the team who has been through the rigours of playing on the continent with Bafana Bafana and he is experienced enough to be able to handle the pressure.
5) Tokelo Rantie
Making quick turns and getting a grip on the ground to find accuracy may be difficult on the artificial pitch but the Turkish-based attacker‚ who is expected to lead the Bafana attack‚ has accumulated enough experience on the continent.