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South Africa v Namibia – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

South Africa faces Namibia in the African Cup of Nations on Sunday in Group E.

South Africa v Namibia

South Africa faces Namibia in the African Cup of Nations on Sunday in Group E. Bafana Bafana lost 2-0 to Mali in their opener whilst the Brave Warriors beat Tunisia 1-0. The side last met in September where they played out a goalless draw.

South Africa Form         

Bafana Bafana had a run of just one win in 17 matches, which included winning 2-1 in Liberia to qualify for the AFCON. They have since lost two of their last three fixtures. A 2-1 home win over Morocco in a dead rubber followed the Liberia win. A fringe squad then played in the COSAFA Cup before four friendlies vs African sides in the September and October FIFA breaks.

A 1-1 friendly draw in Cote d’Ivoire preceded a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Benin in Durban. In the three matches since that, Hugo Broos’ side have failed to score a goal. They lost 2-0 away to Rwanda and created little in a 0-0 draw with Lesotho in a pre-tournament friendly. Their opening match at the AFCON saw a 2-0 defeat to Mali after a first-half penalty was missed.

South Africa Team News

There are not many changes that the coach can make after the Mali defeat. In the absence of Burnley’s Lyle Foster, Zakhele Lepasa could come into the XI up front.

At the back, Siyanda Xulu is a favourite of the coach and may keep his place despite struggling against Mali. Mihlali Mayambela is pushing for a start down the left and Thapelo Maseko may lose his place.

South Africa Motivation

South Africa needs a win from this match. A draw here means even a win in the final group game may not be enough.

Bafana should dominate possession but will need to be wary of Namibia’s speed on counter-attacks.

Namibia Form

Namibia reached this tournament by finishing second in a group with Cameroon and Burundi. They beat Cameroon 2-1 at home but needed help from the Indomitable Lions to qualify after losing 3-2 away to Burundi in their final match. They played in the COSAFA Cup in July, exiting in the group stage with no wins.

After drawing 0-0 away with South Africa in a friendly, they began World Cup qualifying with a 1-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea. They bounced back to win 2-0 in Morocco vs Sao Tome. After drawing 0-0 vs Ghana in a pre-tournament friendly, the Brave Warriors beat Tunisia 1-0 in their opening AFCON match on Tuesday.

Namibia Team News

Namibia coach Collin Benjamin is not expected to make any changes to his XI. Winger Bethuel Muzeu assisted the winner against Tunisia from the bench and is the one potential alternation.

The side will be packed with South African-based players, including Peter Shalulile (Mamelodi Sundowns), Riaan Hanamub (AmaZulu), Lubeni Haukongo (Cape Town Spurs), Deon Hotto (Orlando Pirates) and so forth.

Namibia Motivation

The same tactics will be used as in the opening match. Namibia will play on the counter using Hotto and Shalulile’s pace.

A draw would be a good result but means they need something in the third game against Mali. A win could seal a place in the Knockout Stages.

Key Stats

South Africa have won 7 of their 13 meetings vs these opponents (2 wins for Namibia)

South Africa have failed to score in their last 3 matches

These sides have drawn their last 2 meetings

Namibia have kept 5 clean sheets in their last 6 matches


A low-scoring and tight affair is expected. Namibia defends in numbers and carries a real threat on the break. A draw could be a good tip for this match, possibly with a 0-0 correct score bet.

Best Bet: Namibia win/draw double chance at 1.86

Value Bet: Draw at 2.90

Correct Score: 0-0 draw at 7.00

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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