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Picking a Super Eagles-Bafana Bafana Combined XI

Nigeria's Super Eagles are still smarting from succumbing to their first competitive defeat against South Africa, in the first round of Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, and individual players are chomping at the bit to exact retribution this weekend.

Prior to that 2-0 win for the South Africans in 2017, Bafana Bafana had not lost to the Super Eagles in three previous encounters and not only want to extend that streak, but to do so with a win.

Both sides are hit with injuries heading to Johannesburg, but their combined XI would still be a menacing prospect in the African game.

GOALKEEPER

ITUMELENG KHUNE

Nigeria first-choice Francis Uzoho is one of the injuries that Gernot Rohr must be developing a few more grey hairs about, but even if he had been present, the rookie is still a long way off from being able to compete at the same level as Khune.

Bafana Bafana's goalie is one of the best on the continent at the moment and has the stripes to show for it too.

DEFENDERS

LEON BALOGUN

His lack of pace aside, Balogun is one of the more cerebral defenders in the Super Eagles team and has shown time and again that, when fit, he is one of the best on the continent.

One half of Nigeria's Oyinbo Wall, the Brighton & Hove Albion man is strong on the ground, close to imperious in the air, and boasts an uncompromising streak.

WILLIAM TROOST-EKONG

The other half of the Oyinbo Wall, William is yin to Balogun's yang. The Udinese man has the pace to chase down the quickest of forwards, and the smarts to strip them.

He is one of the most consistent players on the continent and has been almost an ever-present for the Super Eagles since the defeat against South Africa.

THULANI HLATSHWAYO

Bafana's captain offers resistance at the back and a threat upfront.

He made two great tackles to deny Libya in their 0-0 hone draw, set up one goal and scored a another in the 6-0 mauling of Seychelles, and will be key to keeping the Super Eagles forward line quiet.

JAMILU COLLINS

It is hard to believe that Jamilu has only three caps to his name so far.

The Paderborn left-back has slotted in seamlessly, taking to international football like a fish to water, and plugged the hole in the left side of Nigeria's defence.

MIDFIELD

OGHENEKARO ETEBO

Since replacing Ogenyi Onazi in that pre-World Cup friendly against England, Etebo has established himself as a stalwart in the Nigeria midfield alongside the suspended Wilfred Ndidi.

His energy, lungs and passing have been key to Nigeria's three wins so far.

THULANI SERERO

One of the most talented South Africa players today, Serero fell out with the national team and has only been recalled because of the rash of injuries in the team.

He's been in good form for his Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem, and will be expected to play an important part against Nigeria.

ALEX IWOBI

Over two games against Libya, Iwobi showed great influence for Nigeria.

His economical movement, quick passing and vision formed a decisive part of Nigeria's pair of victories in Uyo and Sfax.

The youngster has also been in fine form for Arsenal, and Nigerians will once again expect him to be influential against Bafana.

FORWARDS

AHMED MUSA

Nigeria's stand-in captain has been a player reborn since the World Cup.

He scored against Seychelles and Libya, and continues to rain destruction on opposing defences with his pace and eye for goal.

PERCY TAU

If Bafana are to find the net against Nigeria, Tau will be required to find and take some chances.

He forced a good save from Libya's goalkeeper in that home draw when Bafana created limited chances, and scored against Seychelles.

However, he'll need to be much sharper against Nigeria

SAMUEL KALU

Bordeaux's tricky winger has established himself as one of Rohr's favourites and scored against Libya.

Kalu's pace and invention will cause all manner of trouble for Bafana Bafana.

SOUTH AFRICA VS. NIGERIA COMBINED XI

Itumeleng Khune

Leon Balogon, William Troost-Ekong, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Jamilu Collins

Oghenekaro Etebo, Thulani Serero, Alex Iwobi

Ahmed Musa, Percy Tau, Samuel Kalu

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