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Jairos Tapera set to shuffle Warriors’ starting lineup for Bafana Bafana match

Jairos Tapera talking to Warriors

Interim Warriors coach Jairos Tapera plans to shuffle the team that started in the 2026 World Cup 0-2 defeat to Group C leaders Lesotho at Orlando Stadium on Friday.

The squad left Johannesburg for Bloemfontein in the Free State early Sunday morning for the match against Bafana Bafana on Tuesday.

Tapera has indicated that he will “tinker with the team a bit” following poor displays by some players in the loss to Lesotho. He said (via the Chronicle):

We were disappointed with the result against Lesotho. We played good football but we often switched off when it mattered and we were duly punished.

Jairos Tapera talking to Warriors

But we can’t continue to cry over spilt milk with the battle against South Africa beckoning.

Yes, we will need to play around the squad and certainly, we will make some changes. If you look at different areas in the field of play judging from the manner in which we played against Lesotho, you will see that we really need to tinker with the team a bit.

The changes won’t be wholesale though but we definitely need to do so. All the players are doing well and everyone is eager to perform to the best of their abilities and that is a healthy situation to have in the camp.

Everyone is motivated and we will see how we come up with the changes when we face South Africa on Tuesday (tomorrow).

Centre-backs Gerald Takwara and Teenage Hadebe’s positions are on the line, with Godknows Murwira and Munashe Garan’anga available to step in.

Ngezi Platinum Stars midfield workhorse Richard Hachiro and Martin Mapisa may also be brought in, in place of Andy Rinomhota and Donavan Bernard respectively. Said Tapera:

Without any doubt, we are looking at shuffling in the defensive third as well as in the midfield and see what works.

We will train in Bloemfontein and that will guide us in seeing what could work for us. We are fully focused on the task at hand and hopefully, we will be able to constrict South Africa.

We have been in South Africa for long enough and we have fully acclimatised to conditions here and there is no reason why we should be bullied in the field of play.

We have quality players coming from all over the world and that gives us wings going into the showdown against South Africa.

South Africa picked up a point against Nigeria on Friday in Uyo and they will go into the game against the Warriors as the favourites.

However, the Warriors have a slight physical advantage given that Bafana Bafana travelled more than 9,000 km to and from Nigeria while the Zimbabwe squad was in South Africa during that period.

Zimbabwe anchors the table with two points while Lesotho, who are on five points lead the standings going into the matchday four fixtures.

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