Eto’o absence hands deputy golden chance to impress Everton

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Cameroon’s World Cup future depends on the result they get against Croatia, with a win the only option as they look to close the gap on Brazil and Mexico at the top of Group A.

After the hosts drew with their Americas rivals, the pair sit on four points after two games, while both Cameroon and Croatia are point-less following opening-game defeats.

If the Indomitable Lions are to claim the victory they crave, something Ladbrokes give a 5/1 chance to, then they’ll likely have to do it without captain and talisman Samuel Eto’o.

The club-less striker has a lingering knee injury from the Mexico match that makes him a doubt for proceedings, handing the chance to shine to the country’s secret weapon.

Vincent Aboubakar was an unused substitute for Volker Finke in the 1-0 defeat to El Tri last week, but will likely deputise for the nation’s striking idol should Eto’o fail to regain fitness.

If he takes the field, then Roberto Martinez and Everton should take a keen interest in the match.

Having had so much success with the imposing, athletic talents of Romelu Lukaku last term the Spaniard will want to continue that approach at Goodison Park (as he showed by signing Lacina Traore on loan as Lukaku’s deputy in January).

Aboubakar fits that bill perfectly and is in Brazil off the back of a stellar campaign for Ligue 1 side Lorient.

The 22-year-old scored 16 league goals while laying on six assists last season, a vast improvement on the two and one respective efforts he registered for Valenciennes the term before, and would be a superb acquisition for the Toffees both for the present and future.

Ladbrokes customers can back the 24-cap international to score first, something he did six times for Lorient, at 11/1 while his price for a goal at any time stands at 4s.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.