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Bafana Bafana v Malawi

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Igesund: Still testing players

Igesund: Still testing players

Bafana Bafana will continue their preparations ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with a friendly international against Malawi on Saturday.

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Gordon Igesund's side are just one month away from staging the continental extravaganza, and Bafana have already come through some grueling tests as the new coach looks to assemble his best possible 23-man squad.

South Africa have played against the likes of Brazil and Poland since Igesund succeeded Pitso Mosimane earlier this year, and although both those matches ended in 1-0 defeats, there were plenty of positive to take from the performances.

Bafana managed to bounce back as well and recorded a draw against Sweden while defeating Mozambique and Kenya, although their latest outing ended in a 1-0 loss to defending AFCON champions Zambia.

Speaking ahead of the match, Igesund revealed he will once more be looking to his fringe players to deliver, with the coach to name his 23-man AFCON squad after this weekend's clash.

"I need to get the balance right for this match against Malawi which is the last one where I will be able to look at individual players," the coach said.

"We want to win the match and I am happy the players have put their hands up that they want to be part of the Nations Cup squad.

"This is good for me and my technical team and most importantly good for the country when we have such healthy competition for places. The critical question now is who to leave out."

Meanwhile, Ayanda Patosi, who was originally in the squad but was withdrawn by his Belgian side Lokeren, is set to join the team on December 27.

The Flames, though, will be looking to prove themselves no push-overs, with coach Kinnah Phiri telling Football411 earlier this week: "We are not worried about what Bafana Bafana wants to do, we are happy that we have brought a young team that we want to have a look at.

"I feel these young players will give them a very good run for their money. I'm sure people will be entertained.

"These young guys did well in the CECAFA cup recently and they are catching up very quickly. We will put up a good fight."

Posted: 21/12/12 08:35

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