Ahead of Bafana Bafana’s opening Group E opening match against Mali, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena reveals his AFCON favourites.
Mokwena says he wants to see Namibia and Bafana doing well at the AFCON tournament that is hosted in Cote d’Ivoire.
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The Sundowns mentor has Peter Shalulile representing Namibia and 10 of his players with the Bafana side – he says both teams are his favourites.
Bafana and Namibia are in the same group and this also comes as Sundowns boast the most players at the continental showpiece, with 10 from Bafana and Shalulile representing the Brave Warriors.
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The 36-year-old reigning DStv Premiership champion, Mokwena says it’s a tough group as Namibia and Bafana are pitted together at AFCON.
“It’s a tough group [E]. My heart, as a South African, will always be with Bafana Bafana because we have several players on the team. However, with Peter Shalulile representing Namibia, I hope that both teams make it to the final,” Mokwena told the club’s website.
“It’s normal for coaches to have emotional connections with their players. It’s my wish and dream to see that happen.
“Of course, I want to see my players excel on the international stage, so my support will be for both teams.”
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The Sundowns coach, Mokwena who remains unbeaten in the league adds that Nigeria and Morocco could unseat Senegal as reigning AFCON champions.
“Nigeria will always be favourites because they have several top players and they are never pushovers when it comes to the tournament,” adds Mokwena.
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“Morocco is another team I believe will do well because they have a great coach, a great squad and we saw their exploits at the last World Cup.
“Egypt can also be considered a big threat in the competition as they have the pedigree and know-how to win the title.
“I also tip Ghana and Senegal to be strong contenders and I think Ivory Coast will also make it to the last 8.”