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South Africa

France coach Deschamps picks Kaizer Chiefs star among Bafana Bafana's main threats

16:57 SAST 2022/03/29
Didier Deschamps France
The World Cup winning coach believes he knows what to expect from the 1996 African champions, who will be keen to cause an upset

France head coach Didier Deschamps has singled out Keagan Dolly, Victor Letsoalo and Evidence Makgopa as the main attacking threats for South Africa.

Deschamps' Les Bleus are set to square off with Bafana Bafana in an international friendly match at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve d'Ascq on Wednesday night.

“I know the offensive players [in the South Africa team] better, the forwards. Dolly is an interesting player. The two forwards, Letsoalo and the other one is Makgopa," Deschamps told South Africa Football Association's official website.

The 2018 Fifa World Cup-winning coach will be familiar with Dolly as the Kaizer Chiefs winger was on the books of French Ligue 1 side Montpellier between 2017 and 2021.

Dolly and Baroka FC forward Makgopa started for Bafana against Guinea in a friendly match that ended in a 0-0 draw in Belgium on Friday, while Royal AM striker Letsoalo featured as a substitute.

“Yes, of course, we had people from our team watching your game [against Guinea]. But I do not think it will be the same players who will face France," Deschamps, who is a retired French defensive midfielder, revealed.

“Even though this is a friendly game, we are preparing for the 2022 World Cup. This gives us the opportunity to play against an African team, and this is not always the case for us.

"For example, the last time [we played against South Africa who beat France 2-1] was in 2010 at the World Cup. In the next World Cup, we may play against African nations and those teams might have the same qualities, the same style of play that South Africa has.”

Having masterminded France's 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in a friendly match on Friday, Deschamps expects his Bafana counterpart Hugo Broos to name a more experienced team against Le Bleus than the one who faced Guinea.

“South Africa has a new generation of players. To me, it explains why South Africa did not qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations [earlier this year] and the World Cup," the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000-winning captain added.

"There are a lot of local-based players who do not have a lot of international experience. But obviously, we have watched a lot of South Africa games, several of their last games, and I also watched their last game against Guinea.

“But I do not think it will be the same players because there were a lot of young players on the pitch against Guinea.”