Cameroon vs Brazil Prediction
2nd December 2022
22:00 Qatar Time/19:00 GMT
Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
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World Cup Head-to-Head Record
Played:2 Brazil Wins:2
Cameroon vs Brazil Prediction Match Overview
Cameroon vs Brazil is simply a must-win affair for the Cameroonians. Cameroon enter the match after an exciting 3-3 draw with Serbia. They possibly had some confidence entering that match after the narrow defeat against Switzerland in their opening game. Serbia, especially Aleksandar Mitrovic, had chances in the first half. However, Cameroon scored against the run of play with a tap-in from a corner by defender Jean-Charles Castelletto. Then, a Strahinja Pavlovic header and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic strike within minutes of one another in first-half stoppage time sent the Africans to the dressing rooms trailing. Mitrovic appeared to have clinched the win with a finish early in the second half. Introducing Vincent Aboubakar paid dividends for Cameroon. First, he scored a beautiful chip, then he squared the ball for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to equalise. The incredible comeback ended an eight-match World Cup losing streak and kept Cameroon in the tournament. However, they know they must beat favourites Brazil and hope Switzerland don’t beat Serbia to have any chance of qualification. It is a daunting task. Indeed, even if they can beat the South Americans, they will have to hope Serbia vs Switzerland is a draw or that Serbia can win but not improve their goal difference much.
Brazil were impressive in their opening game against Serbia, securing a victory in the second half through two Richarlison goals. Their second game against Switzerland was a more dogged affair, but a lovely shot from Casemiro gave them the win late on. They come into this match already qualified and knowing a draw will guarantee first place in the group. Even if they lose, Switzerland would have to beat Serbia and have a four-goal swing to deny the Brazilians first place.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might not play:
Will not play: Onana (Cameroon); Danilo, Neymar, Alex Sandro (Brazil)
Cameroon vs Brazil Prediction Analysis
Cameroon starting Vincent Aboubakar and Possible Brazilian Changes
After his performance in the Serbia match, Aboubakar will likely come into the team to give Cameroon more attacking zest as they have to win in Cameroon vs Brazil. Brazil may make several changes as they are already through to the knockout phase. Therefore, we anticipate the likes of Ederson, Fabinho, Rodrygo, and Gabriel Jesus starting. We also think Dani Alves will come in to skipper the team, making him his country’s oldest-ever World Cup captain at 39.
Midfield Battle and Transitions
If Casemiro doesn’t start, it could give the South Americans less control in the middle of the pitch in Cameroon vs Brazil. Fabinho is an excellent player but doesn’t have the experience for the Selecao that the Manchester United man does. Therefore, a midfield of Fabinho, Bruno Guimaraes, and Lucas Paqueta is still good but gives Cameroon more chance of competing. Cameroon have Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Martin Hongla, and Pierre Kunde. Kunde was very impressive against the Serbs. The Brazilians are fortunate to have attackers who can come in and not be much of a downgrade from their starters. Therefore, the Cameroon midfielders will have to cover the wide areas when Nouhou Tolo and Collins Fai attack. Cameroon must take risks in this game, so it is imperative that the midfield operates well. They must keep their shape when Brazil have the ball, but Kunde and Zambo Anguissa can drive forward on transitions. Decision-making is paramount for Cameroon in this game, as the midfielders must choose the times correctly to cover and the times to support in attack.
Guimaraes, Fabinho, and Paqueta are all talented Premier League midfielders and more than capable of running the game even in Casemiro’s potential absence. However, Paqueta and Fabinho have struggled for form this season and may look tired and less sharp than usual. They must protect their defence as the three Cameroonian attackers are dangerous with their pace and trickery on the break. It is also essential that the Brazilians feed their wide men and try to isolate those players with the Cameroon backline. They must keep Cameroon from finding space between the lines.
It is apparent that both teams possess significant threats on the flanks. Cameroon have Bryan Mbeumo and Eric Choupo-Moting, who can operate there. Both players are fast and tricky and can get at the Brazilian full-backs. Alex Telles is not convincing defensively, and Alves is 39, so if they can isolate the Brazilians, the Cameroonians can get in behind to put in crosses or come inside to shoot. Aboubakar, too, will drift wide as he did against Serbia so interchanging positions could be pretty confusing for the Brazilian rearguard. Tolo and Fai must also support the wingers and provide the opportunity to overlap.
Brazil have an abundance of talented wide forwards and could start with Rodrygo or Antony on the right to give Raphina a rest. Vinicius Junior is their most maverick attacker, with Neymar currently injured, and we think he will play. However, if he doesn’t, maybe Rodyrgo will start left and Antony right. All of their options are intelligent players capable of interchange or playing anywhere along the attacking line. They will look to link up with the full-backs and use their trickery and inventiveness to break down the Cameroon defence. They will come inside to shoot themselves or try to play the ball behind the full-backs as they did against Serbia and Switzerland. We anticipate that the wide areas will be critical for both teams in Cameroon vs Brazil. Goals scored in the match will likely come from overloads or creation out wide.
Cameroon Key Players
Epassy has come into the team following a bust-up between coach Rigobert Song and first-choice goalkeeper Andre Onana. Onana has been sent home and will play no further part in the tournament. Epassy conceded three goals against Serbia and, in truth, should have done much better with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s weak shot into the goal. However, he made some excellent saves, too and kept his team in the game. He must be on good shot-stopping form to keep the favourites out in Cameroon vs Brazil, as the Brazilians will get chances. He must also come to claim any crosses sent into the box confidently.
There is little doubt that the Cameroonian forward Aboubakar changed the game against Serbia. His physical presence and powerful running gave the Eastern Europeans more to think about as Cameroon chased the game. His goal was a delightful chip after overpowering the defender and was the catalyst for the Africans’ comeback. He also linked up well with Mbeumo and particularly Choupo-Moting. We expect him to start against Brazil, and he must be clever in possession, as Brazil will likely have more of the ball. He must be quick and tricky on the counter-attack as he was against Serbia. He will need to create and finish any chances that come his way.
Brazil Key Players
Marquinhos may be rested. However, if the centre-back does start, he will be vital for Brazil. He is only 28 and a key team member, so it is more likely that his 38-year-old partner Thiago Silva will be rested by coach Tite instead. Brazil will want to keep some first-choice players in not to underestimate Cameroon. Marquinhos will have to come across to cover his full-backs, and he must beware of the invention of Mbeumo and Choupo-Moting when they come inside. He will likely have a physical battle with Aboubakar; therefore, Marquinhos must be calm, composed and strong. His ability to distribute the ball will also be vital in facilitating the Brazilian midfield and hence initiating attacks.
There is a strong chance that Jesus starts as Richarlison may be rested. If he does start, Jesus should produce his usual tremendous work rate through diligent running, pressing and link-up. Jesus is a very unselfish player who will drop deep to pressure the Cameroon midfield and spread the play wide to the Brazilian wingers when he has the ball. A very gifted dribbler, Jesus possesses the trickery to go past players and unlock defences. Despite his selflessness, Jesus can also score goals and will look to get chances when Brazil can play the ball behind the Cameroon defence for him to use his pace.
Cameroon vs Brazil Prediction
Cameroon are under no illusions. They must beat the tournament favourites to have any chance of staying in the competition. This situation could liberate them completely, as they know the expectation is on Brazil. On the other hand, Cameroon may overcommit and leave gaps for the pacey, creative Brazilians to exploit on the counter-attack and ultimately destroy them. This winter has seen a World Cup of many shocks. Japan beat Spain only hours before this preview was written and resultantly condemned Germany to elimination. With how things are transpiring and with Brazil likely changing their team, who is to say Cameroon cannot get a result? Playing safe, we think Brazil will win this game by the odd goal. However, suppose Cameroon can win, and Switzerland don’t. In that case, it will come down to permutations and Cameroon’s goal difference against either the Swiss or Serbia. Therefore, Cameroon might have to win by a couple of goals to progress. It will be interesting to see how this group’s culmination unfolds.
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