Five key clashes in Bafana v Algeria at Nelson Mandela Stadium

Bafana star Teboho Mokoena is expected to have his work cut out for him against Algeria’s Nabil Bentaleb tonight. Photo: AFP

Bafana star Teboho Mokoena is expected to have his work cut out for him against Algeria’s Nabil Bentaleb tonight. Photo: AFP

Published Mar 26, 2024


Bafana Bafana will face their toughest test of the Fifa Series when they take on Algeria in their own backyard tonight.

The two nations will clash at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers at 11pm SA time looking to complete the last Fifa break of this season’s football calendar in fine style.

Having deployed a second-string side against Andorra last week, Bafana coach Hugo Broos is expected to bring out the big guns against the highly-ranked Desert Foxes.

We took a look at five key clashes that could decide the encounter...

Sydney Mobbie v Yacine Brahimi

The absence of Mamelodi Sundowns man Khuliso Mudau has allowed for the return of Mobbie into a starting berth for Bafana, which is not set to be an easy one as he comes up against one of the most experienced wingers on the continent.

Brahimi returned to captain Algeria to a win over Bolivia last time out in the absence of regular captain and star man Riyad Mahrez.

Mobbie’s speed and tactical awareness will be put to the ultimate test against a man who’s recorded 18 goals and managed eight assists in 16 matches at club level this season.

Teboho Mokoena v Nabil Bentaleb

Mamelodi Sundowns anchorman Mokoena travelled to north Africa with slight injury concerns, but has been cleared to feature by Broos, which will see him battle Lille midfielder Bentaleb.

The former Tottenhem Hotspur and Newcastle man is currently enjoying one of his best seasons in French Ligue 1, and will be a great challenge for a thriving Mokoena.

The winner of this battle might determine which team dominates the game.

Oswin Appollis v Rayan Ait-Nouri

With just two caps under his belt in Bafana colours, Appollis is still looking to stake a claim in national team colours, and Algeria will be the perfect level to test his progress so far.

Wolverhampton Wanderers left back Ait-Nouri is expected to make it a hard day at the office for Appollis, both on defence and offence, and if not tracked, Ait-Nouri can provide decisive involvements in the final third.

— Équipe d'Algérie de football (@LesVerts) March 25, 2024

Grant Kekana v Baghdad Bounedjah

In the absence of Mothobi Mvala, Kekana became Broos’ most trusted outlet at the back alongside Siyanda Xulu.

The two players are expected to communicate well and keep the door shut on the ever-potent Bounedjah, who has proven his ability for years in Algerian colours.

Iqraam Rayners v Aissa Mandi

Ahead of this encounter, Broos spoke about a lack of striking ability in South Africa, which has contributed to having a limited pool to pick from.

Cape Town City’s Khanyisa Mayo got the nod ahead of Rayners against Andorra, but the Stellenbosch FC man is expected to feature from the start against Algeria.

Villareal’s Mandi will undoubtedly be the man most trusted to keep the speedy Rayners in check if Algeria are to beat Bafana on the night.