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15 AFCON Stars That Could Hurt Bafana In Egypt

Bafana Bafana will be back rolling with the big boys at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations and have been pitted against some of the biggest names on the continent right now.
 
Find out more about the African danger men in the gallery above!
 
Stuart Baxter’s side has been drawn against the Elephants of the Ivory Coast, Morocco’s Atlas Lions and the Namibian Brave Warriors, and all three have attacking players capable of causing lots of problems for South Africa on their day. 
 
 
While Baxter will be very buoyed by Bafana’s impeccable defensive record in qualifying – they conceded just twice, one own goal and one penalty – he will no doubt be making plans to keep the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Nicholas Pepe and Deon Hotto quiet when things get underway in Egypt. 
 
Bafana start their AFCON with a clash against Cote d’Ivoire, followed by Namibia and then the Moroccans, with all of their matches taking place at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo starting on June 24. 
 
But who are the threats to Bafana? Who do they need to keep quiet?
 
The Ivorians…
Nicholas Pepe of Lille is probably one of the most in-form African players in the world right now, and his performances in Ligue 1 have seen him attract interest from all over the world. Alongside him in the Ivory Coast side are the likes of Seydou Dombia, Max Gradel and Maxwel Cornet, all of whom are doing well for their club sides.
 
Arguably the biggest name in the side, Wilfried Zaha, will be eager to make a name for himself at the AFCON after missing the bulk of qualification, and the Crystal Palace star’s talents come as no secret. Likewise with Jonathan Kodjia, a man at on fire Aston Villa, who grabbed two goals in the qualifiers.
 
 
The Moroccans…
A player who will be no stranger to Kamohelo Mokotjo is former FC Twente man, Hakim Ziyech, who is currently doing his thing for Ajax Amsterdam as they defy expectations in the UEFA Champions League. Around Ziyech will players such as the talented young Youssef En-Nesyri, and experienced Younes Belhanda.
 
Meanwhile, off the back of scoring at the 2018 World Cup, will be Zamalek striker, Khalid Boutaïb, and another player who will require plenty of attention is Celta Vigo’s former Southampton man, Sofiane Boufal.
 
The Namibians…
As neighbours, Baxter will be able to keep a much closer eye on some of the Brave Warriors that they will go into battle with, and will currently be very aware of Deon Hotto’s impressive 2018/19 numbers with Bidvest Wits.
 
Benson Shilongo, now with Ismaily, and Petrus Shitembi of Lusaka Dynamos, are no stranger to the Premier Soccer League having played in South Africa in the past, while Peter Shalulile is currently having a very solid season with Highlands Park in the Absa Premiership.
 
Who do you think Bafana should be most worried about?  
 
 

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