Home Sport These five French players could give Bafana headaches

These five French players could give Bafana headaches

Milan’s Olivier Giroud (right) in action during the Italian Serie A soccer match against US Salernitana at the Arechi stadium in Salerno, Italy, 19 February 2022. File Picture: Massimo Pica, EPA

Both sides are coming off decent performances in their previous friendlies, the clear difference though, a ruthless cutting edge in front goal.

Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana conclude their tour of Europe with a huge battle against the current champions of the world, France, in Lille, on Tuesday evening.

Both sides are coming off decent performances in their previous friendlies, the clear difference though, a ruthless cutting edge in front goal.

While Bafana huffed and puffed against a Guinea side there for the taking, France rallied from behind to claim a 2-1 victory over the Ivory Coast.

Even without the services of Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema, the French national team aren’t short of talent and Sports Correspondent Smiso Msomi looks at five players that could mean trouble for Bafana Bafana:

1. Kylian Mbappe

The Paris Saint Germain superstar was an unused substitute in their last match,  a worrying sight for the South African contingent.

Mbappe has proven to be the difference both on national team duty and at club level, outshining Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr in a PSG Shirt.

The 23-year-old has 32 goal involvements in 34 matches for both club and country this season and is undeniably the one player Bafana should have a ‘special plan’ for defensively.

2. Olivier Giroud

The veteran striker has just been recalled into the national squad and he doesn’t look he has missed a beat, finding the back of the net in trademark style to pull his side level against Ivory Coast.

The former Arsenal man endured a fairly unsuccessful spell at Chelsea on a personal level, but has seemingly found new life at AC Milan.

His physicality and world class ability to link up play and find himself in scoring positions could spell danger for Hugo Broos’ men.

3. Antoine Griezmann

The Atletico Madrid man loves playing for the national team, as his performances indicate.

He spearheaded Le Bleu to world cup glory in 2018 and has remained an ever-present figure the squad even with his dip in form at club level.

His off the ball movements and finishing should cause Bafana’s defence a few headaches  before this encounter.

4. Paul Pogba

Pogba’s ability at national team level is subject for debate for many Manchester United supporters. A number of them even suggest that he might enjoy playing for France more because he is played in his best position, unlike at the Red Devils.

Pogba has emerged as the perfect balancing factor in coach Didier Deschamps’ midfield.

With Broos poised to deploy both Goodman Mosele and Mothobi Mvala in the heart of midfield, they’ll be tasked with handling one of most gifted midfielders of this generation.

5. Ngolo Kante

Bafana are going to need to be able to compete on a very high level in midfield if they stand any chance of an upset, and containing Kante will be a key step in this mission.

The Chelsea man covers every blade of grass at the highest level and if allowed freedom, he could run the entire Bafana ship into the ground with ease.


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