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Benni hails new-look Bafana

BENNI McCarthy is impressed with the new, unknown faces in the Bafana Bafana squad, at least two of whom appear set for a start in the friendly international against Brazil here tomorrow night.

McCarthy, in the squad thanks to injuries to Moroka Swallows striker Siyabonga Nomvethe, and then his replacement, Edward Manqele, believes the new-look Bafana might surprise Brazil with a competitive display.

Coach Gordon Igesund has cast his net wide as he has a look at players who might add value to Bafana ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Oldham Athletic midfielder Dean Furman and Maccabi Haifa striker Dino Ndlovu look set for a start against the Selecao.

"They're some fantastic players and I'm surprised that I didn't even know a couple of them," McCarthy says of the new faces, who also include Peterborough left-back Kgosi Ntlhe. "I think we can give Brazil a good run."

Furman could be fielded alongside Kagisho Dikgacoi and Thulani Serero in a three-man midfield.

Orlando Pirates right-back Thabo Matlaba appears earmarked for right wing, with Ndlovu at striker and Siphiwe Tshabalala on the left. The defence should be Siboniso Gaxa on the right, Punch Masanamela on the left and Bongani Khumalo and Siyabonga Sangweni in the middle.

McCarthy, expected to come off the bench tomorrow, has not played against Brazil at senior level.

However he was part of, and scored for, the Under-23 side that beat Brazil 3-1 at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

"I think individually, skilfully we're on par with Brazil. They've got Neymar, we've got Shabba (Siphiwe Tshabalala), whose equally as good and scored the first goal in the World Cup."

Yesterday's training was conducted in heat and humidity similar to Durban in spring, and it could be a hot afternoon at Estadio do Morumbi tomorrow night.

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