Cape Town - The South African Football Association (SAFA) has announced the Bafana Bafana squad set to face Senegal in back-to-back 2018 Soccer World Cup qualifiers next month.
Coach Stuart Baxter's men will do battle in the crucial two remaining qualifiers with his side needing maximum points in order to qualify for Russia 2018.
The first match takes place on Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
For the second fixture, Bafana Bafana will travel to Dakar to take on the Lions of Teranga on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor.
Baxter has kept the bulk of the squad that defeated Burkina Faso 3-1 earlier this month in another World Cup qualifier at the FNB Stadium.
Baxter welcomes back the defensive partnership of captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, who was out injured in that match as well as Erick Mathoho and Dean Furman, who were both suspended.
Making his return after a three-year absence is Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala.
Baxter has also called up midfielders Bongani Zungu and Andile Jali who are both suspended.
Jali will serve a one match ban after collecting two yellow cards in the qualifiers, but will be available for the away leg.
Zungu has been included pending a FIFA Disciplinary case, which will sit on November 1 to look into the red card he received in the clash against Burkina Faso.
"In an ideal world I would love to have all the players available for every match but we know it is not possible. In Zungu’s case we will await the outcome of the sitting but we have a job to do, and if you thought playing Burkina Faso was a world cup final, I can tell you now that playing Senegal is much more important than that," said Baxter.
"We have only one option - to win the remaining two games and book our ticket to Russia. Everyone, myself, the players, the Association, media and the public - are well aware that anything less than victory in both matches will be curtains for our world cup aspirations. We did well against Burkina Faso, so we have to keep on believing that it is very much possible to qualify. The good thing is that it is all in our hands.”
Bafana Bafana are bottom of the Group D table with four points - four adrift of log leaders Senegal. Both sides have two matches remaining.
Burkina Faso and the Cape Verde Islands are tied on six points - both with one game remaining. The two nations will locks horns on Tuesday, November 14, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
South Africa and Senegal have met seven times before with Bafana Bafana winning one match, losing twice and drawing the other four against the West Africans.
Baxter’s men assemble on Sunday, November 5 and travel to Polokwane on Monday, November 6 where they will set up camp.
Bafana Bafana squad v Senegal:
Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Ronwen Williams
Thamsanqa Mkhize, Clayton Daniels, Erick Mathoho, Motjeka Madisha, Morgan Gould, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Tebogo Langerman, Sifiso Hlanti
Hlompho Kekana, Dean Furman, Keagan Dolly, Andile Jali, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Themba Zwane, Bongani Zungu, Thulani Serero, Phakamani Mahlambi, Lebogang Manyama, Siphiwe Tshabalala
Percy Tau, Bradley Grobler, Dino Ndlovu