Head coach of the senior national team of South Africa Stuart Baxter will approached Saturday game against Nigeria with a safety first approach as he is prepared to play with five defenders at the back.
Baxter recognise how deadly Nigeria can be in attack, and wants to nullify the pace at which the Eagles attack by playing men in front of the defence to stop them from threading balls behind.
That said the coach who loves to play with two defensive midfielders will this time around settle for Kermit Erasmus as the most advanced of his midfielders due to his ability to move from box to box regardless of how deep he plays.
Meanwhile Andile Jali will be the most important player for Baxter’s team against Nigeria with the KV Oostende defensive midfielder given a role just in front of the defenders, particularly to take out whoever leads the line for Nigeria as the top striker.
While Jali will concentrate on the top striker for Nigeria, the three centre back will be on alert to help the full backs if Nigeria threatens from the flank as expected during the course of the game.
Jali is well known for his well timed tackles and interceptions and Baxter believes he will be key to their chances of causing an upset by using him to disrupt the Super Eagles from their free flowing brand of football.
The coach has also asked his wards to be very physical against the Nigerians who are no where near them in terms of size, but are unpredictable especially with the ball at their feet.