Big weekend for Bafana Bafana’s French connection

Keagan Dolly during the South African national mens soccer team training session at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 09, 2017 in Polokwane, South Africa.
Keagan Dolly Keagan Dolly during the South African national mens soccer team training session at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 09, 2017 in Polokwane, South Africa.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

It is a big weekend in France’s Ligue 1 for the quartet of South African players in one of Europe’s top leagues‚ though their ambitions differ.

For young Bafana Bafana striker Lebo Mothiba it is another crucial fixture as he travels with his Lille side to top club Marseille‚ desperate for three points to help them in their bid to avoid relegation.

Lille are currently in the relegation playoff position‚ but only above automatic relegation on goal difference with five games remaining in the season.

Mothiba has been the lead striker for Lille since his January loan return from Valenciennes in the second-tier and has three goals in nine starts for the side.

Bongani Zungu’s Amiens are still in the relegation mix‚ but may feel that one more victory will see them clear of that danger and on Saturday they host fellow strugglers Strasbourg.

Victory for Amiens would not only see them ease their relegation woes‚ but also provide a further lifeline to Mothiba’s Lille.

Two more South Africans are looking instead at qualification for the Uefa Europa League next season.

Fifth will be good enough to get into the Europe League and Keagan Dolly’s Montpellier are just a point off Rennes‚ who currently hold that position.

Dolly is up against sixth-placed Nice on Sunday‚ the team who lie between seventh-positioned Montpellier and Rennes‚ so a victory would be a massive boost to their qualification hopes.

The Bafana Bafana midfielder is unlikely to come up against Italian star Mario Balotelli as the latter struggles with illness.

Lebogang Phiri’s Guingamp are also still in contention‚ five points behind Rennes‚ as they host second-placed Monaco on Saturday.

Phiri has made 21 appearances for Guingamp this season and last weekend came off the bench to set up a later equaliser for his side against Lille.

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