Bafana Bafana stars Mailula and Saleng to outshine Tau and Zwane? - Morris tips duo to dazzle against Liberia

Monnapule Saleng, Bafana Bafana, November 2022Backpagepix
  • Bafana are set to take on Liberia on Friday
  • Mailula is expected to make his international debut
  • Morris shared his views on Mailula and Saleng

WHAT HAPPENED? South Africa coach Hugo Broos included eight Mamelodi Sundowns players and fourfrom Orlando Pirates in his 23-man squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia.

Kaizer Chiefs players were snubbed. While specifically pointing at Sundowns’ Mailula and Pirates winger Saleng, Morris feels the two should be able to handle national team pressure since they are used to it at club level.

Mailula is set to make his Bafana debut, as he relishes playing alongside his idol Percy Tau while Saleng has already tasted international football and the two have been challenged to be on top of their game.

WHAT MORRIS SAID: "For me, players playing at those big clubs should be used to playing under pressure," Morris told KickOff.

"Starting the game, it shouldn't be an issue for them [Saleng and Mailula]. Of course, at the international level, sometimes it's a bit different for some players. They are very good at club level, but a step up to the international level sometimes is not easy for some players.

"So, I think they will be looking to grab their opportunity with the two players. As a player, when you get selected for the national team, you always want to be starting. But as I said, it depends on these two players, if they can handle the pressure.

"It's not easy putting on that jersey and going out there and performing at every opportunity that you get. It's difficult to decide if they should start or not on Friday, but as I said, they should be able to take that pressure.

"Looking at what they normally do week in and week out at their clubs, it should be easy for them."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saleng and Mailula are in a team that has Tau and Themba Zwane who are usually top performers for Bafana. Tau and Zwane might have set the bar high for Saleng and Mailula.

Saleng has often been criticized for blowing hot and cold this season. On his day, he can be devastating to opponents and in the next match, he will disappear.

On his return to the national team last November, Saleng struggled to transfer his club form into the national team. He would be hoping to be influential this time around.

Masandawana forward Mailula has so far been consistent this season and would be keen to continue on that wavelength if he is given a playing chance.

WHAT NEXT FOR MAILULA & SALENG? If handed some playing minutes, Mailula would want to make a huge impact and establish himself as a regular starter in the future.

This is also a chance for Saleng to silence his critics and show he can be a consistent performer.

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