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Baxter Outlines AFCON Strategy, Rates Opponents

Stuart Baxter held a press conference at the weekend to give his thoughts on Bafana Bafana’s Africa Cup of Nations draw conducted on Friday night, and in that briefing, the coach was also asked to rate the national team’s three opponents.

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His men have it all do to in a tough Group D that includes continental powerhouses Ivory Coast and Morocco, with Namibia generally expected to be the whipping boys.

“World football has shown that there are no easy games at international level. I think you have to be quite arrogant to use words like minnows and things like that – and certainly with our record in the AFCON,” Baxter said.

“If you look at Morocco, they are obviously a good team with lots of individual players. They are experienced in the AFCON and have got good results. They will not find it comfortable having us and Herve Renard’s old team (Ivory Coast) in the same group, and then have to come up against Namibia.”    

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Bafana will face the Ivorians in their opening game at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on June 24.

“Undoubtedly they have a lot of talent and have always been one of the stronger nations. If we play the way we played I still think we can look at both those games as winnable. And Namibia will be intensive because it is a derby – if they can take any scalp they will want to take ours,” said Baxter.

He has earmarked the opener as a match that will set the tone for Bafana in the tournament with a camp in the Middle East as well as a final training match in Egypt in the planning phase.  

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