Will Mashaba unleash young strikers?

Siphelele Ntshangase. Pic: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Shakes Mashaba says he will “mix it up a bit” when Bafana Bafana take on Swaziland this evening in a friendly at Somhlolo Stadium in Lobamba.

Those were the Bafana coach’s words as he walked off the field after Bafana’s final training session at the same venue on a balmy Tuesday evening.

Bafana played an 11 v 11 on the artificial turf at this national stadium, with some interesting combinations that suggest some fresh faces against Swaziland.

Perhaps the most intriguing was a strike partnership of potential debutants Siphelele Nthangase and Thabo Mnyamane, and it will be fascinating to see if Mashaba fields these ‘young guns’ against Sihlangu Semnikati on Wednesday (kick off 7pm).

Elsewhere, changes from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations are somewhat forced on Mashaba. With Dean Furman missing in central midfield, the Bafana coach needs a new partner for Andile Jali – could it be Holland-based Kamohelo Mokotjo, back in the squad for the first time since last September?

Or will it be another first call-up, Cole Alexander, who was tried out alongside Jali by Mashaba on Tuesday?

In central defence, Eric Mathoho has been granted a leave of absence for the Swaziland game, so Rivaldo Coetzee and Thulani Hlatshwayo look most experienced pairing, but it could also be that Mashaba gives another new man, Daniel Cardoso a run against Swaziland.

With Anele Ngcongca injured, meanwhile, Siyabonga Nhlapo would be the obvious choice at right back, But another youngster, Bloemfontein Celtic’s Thapelo Morena is also an option

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