To advance to the World Cup’s knockout rounds on Friday, Cameroon will have the challenging task of defeating Brazil at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. The Indomitable Lions must win and expect that either Serbia beats Switzerland by one goal in the other Group G encounter, or that Serbia picks up a draw, since the Selecao simply need a point to claim first place.
Breel Embolo scored the game’s lone goal against his native Switzerland as Cameroon opened the group stage with a 1-0 loss, the African team’s eighth straight World Cup setback. The Indomitable Lions did have opportunities, having as many shots on target as their adversaries, but they fell just short, therefore they needed at least a draw against Serbia in their next game.
After Jean-Charles Castelletto opened the scoring, Rigobert Song’s team battled back from a 3-1 hole to draw the game at 3-3, despite briefly appearing to be headed for an early departure from the competition. The second-half goals from Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting gave Cameroon a chance to compete on Friday and demonstrated the tenacity that will be needed if they are to have any chance against one of the tournament contenders.
Song will be hoping that his squad can take advantage of Brazil facing a team that may not be as powerful as in previous games because they are extremely likely to advance as group winners, despite the fact that they are still outsiders.
Brazil have successfully qualified for the round of 16 of the World Cup, sweeping their opening two matches for the first time since 2010, when they advanced to the quarterfinals. Richarlison scored a brace in the second half to give the Selecao a 2-0 victory over Serbia and give them their first win of the tournament without giving up a goal. Following that, Tite’s team once more came from behind to defeat Switzerland, this time by a score of 1-0. Casemiro scored in injury time, which may have surprised some given their abundance of attacking potential.
When & Where?
Date: Friday, 2nd December 2022.
Time: 8:00 PM.
Venue: Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Andre Onana won’t play in goal for Cameroon since he was expelled for misconduct after arguing with the coach about the team’s playing philosophy.
Devis Epassy, who is less seasoned, should start in goal, as he did in the previous game, while Vincent Aboubakar, who scored last time out off the bench, might go to the front line.
Following a diagnostic for the hip issue that forced him out against Switzerland, Alex Sandro is the most recent player to be injured and ruled out for Brazil.
Since Alex Telles was substituted for the final five minutes of the previous game, he is likely to replace him at left-back in the upcoming game.
Due to an ankle condition that kept him out of the previous game, Neymar is also expected to miss this one, and Danilo won’t be in the running for a spot in the backline because of a similar issue.
Cameroon’s 4-3-3 setup involves attacking football and a high press. While they have been decent in their defence, they did manage to concede three last game against Serbia. They did manage to score three as well and are good at finding spaces in the wider areas and will aim to do the same against Brazil.
With Neymar still being a doubt, Brazil could still go with three midfielders. They have been struggling to find the goals and rather rely on individual brilliance to get themselves scoring. They can take advantage of the shaky defence of the Cameroonians with their hybrid 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 system.
Brazil, as expected, have awed everyone with this individual ability complemented by taking over adversity as a team when things gets tough. And they will want to start the game in control, keeping the ball and utilising spaces in the final third. The expected inclusion of Gabriel Jesus means he could drop in and the wingers can play interior role to get better of Cameroon defence. Though they will want to be vary to using high-lines, as Cameroon will want to use the PnP of their attacking line to take run-in behind on a early ball whipped into space up ahead – this is how they scored two of their three goals against Serbia last time around.
Premier League Players to look out for
One name that has enriched the Premier League viewers in awe this season, he has been critical in helping Arsenal to the top spot in the Premier League, and post his involvement with the Brazilian squad – everyone including Tite are said to be impressed by his abilities. Martinelli is expected to start tonight, and if he is anywhere near to what he has been all year – he is going to be a major problem for Cameroon to contain from the left flank. The expectation of his Arsenal teammate Gabriel Jesus to start alongside him upfront means they can cause chaos just like they have done for Mikel Arteta.
Casemiro is demonstrating to the world how important he can be in the middle of the pitch. The Brazilian’s performances against Serbia and his goal against Switzerland showcased his composure on the ball, making him nearly appear like an offensive midfielder. The Brazilian can frequently be just as critical for advancing the ball or creating a line-breaking pass as he can for winning the ball back.
With Brazil having already qualified for the last 16, it seems like Antony will finally get his first ever World Cup start. The Brazilian has been excellent in the Premier League this season with 3 goals in 6 starts for Manchester United. His quality to maintain width on the right wing and to also cut inside, will be of major importance to Brazil as they aim to get into gear before the knockout stages.
Cameroon predicted lineup vs Brazil (4-3-3): Epassy; Fai, Castelletto, Nkoulou, Tolo; Hongla, Anguissa, Kunde; Aboubakar, Choupo-Moting, Toko Ekambi.
Brazil predicted lineup vs Cameroon (4-2-3-1): Ederson; Alves, Marquinhos, Bremer, Telles; Guimarães, Casemiro; Raphinha, Antony, Martinelli; Jesus.