Shakes Mashaba is not shy to reveal his cards long in advance for Bafana Bafana’s matches.
South Africa take on Costa Rica at 4am on Friday morning, South African time and the team sheet is in on Thursday morning.
The only surprise in the backline is new boy Mosa Lebusa from Ajax Cape Town at full-back. Otherwise it’s a strong one with Itu Khune as captain, Eric Mathoho and Rivaldo Coetzee the usual central defensive partners and the highly rated Anele Ngcongca at full-back.
Mashaba has often preferred local players, and knowing that he’s under pressure, as well as faces a must-win World Cup qualifier against Angola, the coach is fine-tuning his first team with a European based midfield.
Mandla Masango, Andile Jali and Thulani Serero make up the trio, with attacking midfielders Bongani Zungu and George Lebese higher up. Much attention will be on in-form Kaizer Chiefs star Lebese who finally gets his chance.
Bidvest Wits’ Sibusisio Vilakazi will be the striker since Tokelo Rantie and Thamsanqa Gabuza are unavailable with injury.
Starters: Itu Khune (capt), Ngcongca, Coetzee, Mathoho, Lebusa, Jali, Zungu, Masango, Serero, Lebese, Vilakazi
Substitutes: Mabokgwane, Williams, Nhlapo, Hlatshwayo, Daniels, Mashaba, Furman, Mokotjo, Patosi, Shongwe