Modise backs Bafana strikers
Rustenburg - Teko Modise believes that Bafana Bafana have assembled their most formidable strike force in recent times.
"I think we have the best strike force right now," the Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker said on Thursday.
"'Killer' (Katlego Mphela) is not the only one (who can score goals).
"Now we have the likes of Lehlohonolo Majoro and 'Bhele' (Siyabonga Nomvethe), who are natural goalscorers and can do the same.
"And as a midfielder, to create to such players is easy."
In the 26-man squad, there is also the gangly Eleazar Rodgers from Santos and Orlando Pirates' bustling Tokelo Rantie - who have both looked sharp at the side's training sessions at the Royal Marang Hotel.
In total, the five forwards amassed 60 goals in the Premiership this season, a third of which came from Nomvethe alone, the league's leading scorer.
Captain Steven Pienaar and the Kaizer Chiefs duo of Siphiwe Tshabalala and Reneilwe Letsholonyane are capable of finishing.
It is in contrast to the doomed 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign last year which had a dearth of quality finishers, especially if Mphela was injured.
Mphela has recently looked out of sorts and had an average season at his club, Mamelodi Sundowns.
However, he is still expected to lead the attack in the opening Group A 2014 World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Sunday, and against Botswana in Gaborone next Saturday.
Bafana also face Gabon in a friendly international at a yet to be determined Johannesburg venue on June 15.
"We looking very good, and with Pienaar creating in the team, I don't see why we can't make goals," said Modise.
"We have a tight defence at the back and our biggest problem has been scoring goals."
Ahead of the weekend clash, the team spent on Wednesday evening analysing video footage on the Ethiopians.
"We watched clips of them last(Wednesday) night and we are trying to do our training sessions based on what we saw," Modise said.
"They have pacy players upfront, but they are not physical, and have a small body like me.
"We are comfortable on the ball, and are trying to work on movements on where to close them down."
Modise admitted there was pressure to do well in the campaign and said South Africa needed to beat the so-called smaller teams if they are to be a competitive force.
Should Bafana, who are favourites, win their group, which also features Central African Republic, they will go into the draw for the second and final round next year where their strength will be tested.
Africa is allocated five teams for the soccer showpiece which will be staged in Brazil in two years' time.
"These are the kind of teams we need to beat before we face the bigger teams - not taking anything away from Ethiopia," said Modise.
"We know what is expected from us, and maybe we need this kind of pressure for us to do better."