Preview: Cameroon vs. Cape Verde – prediction, team news, lineups

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Preview: Cameroon vs. Cape Verde – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s World Cup Qualifying – Africa clash between Cameroon and Cape Verde, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Troubled Cameroon face a daunting World Cup qualifying opponent in Cape Verde on Saturday when they face off at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

The Indomitable Lions have secured four points from six heading into the June fixtures, while the so-far undefeated Blue Sharks are yet to concede after two games, notching the same points as their hosts.

Match preview

© Reuters

Cameroon’s comical leadership has taken a worse turn of late, with FECAFOOT president Samuel Eto’o re-appointing Marc Brys days after seemingly dismissing the Belgian in late May.

Brys only replaced Rigobert Song at the start of April after a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations that saw the former centre-back’s side eliminated by age-old rivals Nigeria in the first knockout round.

In truth, Cameroon were fortunate to make it that far, underlined by their basic approach that was overly reliant on crossing from wide areas with little or no invention.

It remains to be seen how the new boss rejigs the Lions’ on-field strategy and placates a high-handed FECAFOOT president heading into Saturday’s fixture, with training in the lead-up to this weekend’s fixture reportedly derailed by Eto’o’s clumsy antics.

Cameroon defeated Mauritius 3-0 in their first match in qualifying before playing out a 1-1 draw against Libya in November 2023, but they face a different test in round three.

Cape Verde coach Pedro Leitao Brito reacts on February 3, 2024© Reuters

Cape Verde will back themselves to stun the Indomitable Lions, keen to capitalise on the evident disarray and disunity in the Central African nation, as they could leapfrog the giants by securing maximum points.

Bubista‘s troops have hitherto avoided losing after two rounds of qualifying and have doubly impressed by keeping consecutive clean sheets against Angola (0-0) and Eswatini (2-0).

A third shutout on the trot could be a long shot for the Blue Sharks, whose ambition to participate in their maiden World Cup finals has been improved by the issues in Cameroon’s camp.

Indeed, Bubista’s men have a sample size of results that gives them a chance in Yaounde, underscored by a strong AFCON showing in Cote d’Ivoire. The Blue Sharks were not beaten in 90 minutes of any encounter but could not get past Ronwen Williams‘ goalkeeping clinic in the quarter-final penalty shootouts as they proved their mettle against opponents of different profiles.

Saturday presents Cape Verde with an opportunity for a huge scalp, and they hope to show the best version of themselves against Africa’s most experienced side on the world stage.

Cameroon World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:

Cameroon form (all competitions):

Cape Verde World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:

Cape Verde form (all competitions):

Team News

Cameroon's Andre Onana pictured on November 24, 2022© Reuters

Andre Onana should start between the sticks despite a mixed debut season at Manchester United and his complicated relationship with Eto’o.

Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Frank Zambo Anguissa are part of the group, who welcome back Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo after the forward missed AFCON 2023 because of an ankle injury.

Brighton midfielder Carlos Baleba is part of the group, and the 20-year-old could make his Indomitable Lions debut on Saturday.

Several stars from Cape Verde’s AFCON 2023 run are part of Bubista’s squad, with Vozinha, Ryan Mendes, Bebe, Jovane Cabral and Logan Costa all expected to play against Cameroon.

Despite Bebe getting most of the attention due to his Manchester United connection, Mendes could be the team’s potent weapon heading into this weekend’s encounter.

Cameroon possible starting lineup:
Onana; Tchatchoua, Ngadeu, Wooh, Tolo; Ntcham, Baleba, Anguissa; Mbeumo, Aboubakar, Nkoudou

Cape Verde possible starting lineup:
Vozinha; Morreira, Costa, Lopes, Paulo; Duarte, Pina, Monteiro; Mendes, Bebe, Cabral

SM words green background

We say: Cameroon 1-1 Cape Verde

While Cameroon have several individuals capable of hurting Cape Verde, Bubista’s men arguably have a more coherent side, having played under the 54-year-old manager since 2020.

The Blue Sharks will back themselves to avoid losing in Yaounde against an opponent that have dealt with internal strife in the lead-up to Saturday’s encounter.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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