Bafana Bafana’s World Cup aspirations are resting on a knife’s edge and nothing less than the three points will do in Johannesburg as they are required to win all of their remaining games, including the replay against Senegal in November.
However, going into the clash Bafana certainly have history on their side.
The two nations have become rather accustomed to facing off against each other in World Cup qualifiers having been drawn against each other in 2002, 2006 and 2018, and have previously met on eight separate occasions, with the South Africans having claimed four victories.
Furthermore, Stuart Baxter’s men carry a notable advantage as they proudly boast a 100 percent unbeaten record at home against the Burkinabe.
But it should be noted that Bafana’s only defeat against Burkina Faso came in a 2006 World Cup qualifier which took place in 2005 and coincidently, it was the 64-year-old Englishman who was in charge of Bafana at the time.
Nevertheless, Baxter recently returned to the helm of Bafana, and while the west Africans have grown in leaps and bounds since then becoming an African powerhouse boasting within their ranks some of the continent’s most talented individuals, South Africa are continuously struggling to live up to expectations and qualifying for major tournaments.
Nonetheless, the last time Baxter was in charge of a South African victory against Burkina Faso was also during the 2006 qualifying campaign, where goals by Steven Pienaar and Shaun Bartlett were the difference at the FNB Stadium.
But if history is anything to go by, fans could be in for a tightly contested affair. Bafana have been held to a draw on three previous occasions with the last meeting between the sides in the reverse fixture played in 2016 ending in a 1-1 draw.
On that night in Ouagadougou, a late strike by Banou Diawara cancelled out Dean Furman’s lone effort as the Stallions stole a point from right under Bafana’s noses.
Although, South Africa’s qualifying campaign started off with a bang, it is now in danger of ending with a whimper, and despite history being in favour of Bafana, the South Africans will know better than anyone not to underestimate their opponents.