BY TIYANI MABASA
If you were a betting man‚ you would probably give Bafana Bafana a straight win over Cape Verde in Tuesday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban and with good reason.
Here are five reasons why Bafana will beat Cape Verde:
1) Moses Mabhida Stadium – Bafana’s happy hunting ground
Bafana enjoy playing at this iconic 2010 World Cup venue if past results are anything to go by.
Their last outing here was a 3-1 win over Guinea Bissau in a friendly international in March.
Even if you go back to years gone by‚ Bafana either win or draw in the 85 000-seater stadium.
2) Stuart Baxter also loves Durban “I don’t remember losing a match at Moses Mabhida‚” said the Bafana mentor Baxter this week.
Indeed‚ the Briton has some good memories at this football venue.
As recently as June‚ Baxter guided his former team SuperSport United to an impressive 4-1 win over Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup final.
3) Cape Verde’s poor away form
The islanders’ away form leaves a lot to be desired‚ especially against tough opposition.
They haven’t had problems beating lowly opposition like Luxembourg and Sao Tome away‚ but the likes of Senegal‚ Morocco and even Kenya have gotten the better of Cape Verde in their last five matches on the road.
4) SA are ranked above Cape Verde
On paper‚ at least‚ Bafana shouldn’t have problems beating Cape Verde.
In terms of Fifa’s world rankings‚ SA are better than the islanders.
SA are ranked 13th in Africa (66th in the world)‚ while their opponents come in a distant 30th (114th in the world).
5) Failure to prepare is preparing to fail
If anything‚ Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes claims that their long travel down South has hindered their preparations.
They travelled for more than 24 hours to get to SA and even though they’ve had the past few days to prepare‚ they were already on the back foot.
Bafana‚ on the other hand‚ have been home for some time and look settled.