World Cup 2014 Team-by-Team Guide: Cameroon set for early exit
Past tournaments: 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010
Previous Best: Quarter-final, Italia 90
How they got here: Cameroon breezed into their seventh World Cup finals by finishing top of African Qualifying Group I, before beating Tunisia 4-1 in a two-leg play-off clash.
Star man: Samuel Eto’o (Chelsea)
The former Barcelona striker may be in the twilight of his career but much will still depend on Samuel Eto’o’s form if Cameroon are to have any impact in Brazil. Cameroon’s all-time leading scorer has found the net eight times in 20 appearances for Chelsea this season and will be determined to put on a show in what is likely to be his fourth and final World Cup appearance.
Under the radar: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Mainz)
While Eto’o is still Cameroon’s key man, at the age of 33 he cannot be asked to shoulder the burden of a nation on his own. That’s where Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting fits in. The German-born star’s pace and power could be a key asset for the Indomitable Lions this summer, especially if he can continue his knack of finding the back of the net. The Mainz forward has nine goals in just 23 appearances for his country so far and do not be surprised to see him add to his tally in Brazil.
Team nutcase: Stephane Mbia (Sevilla)
Fresh from his starring role in Sevilla’s Europa League win, Stephane Mbia is being honoured by the Ladbrokes News team with the award of Cameroon’s “team nutcase”. Mbia, who was one of Harry Redknapp’s numerous high-priced flops in QPR’s relegation season, has turned his career around in La Liga and his recent form could force him into Volker Finke’s starting XI. But the German will be aware the midfielder can at times see the red mist, as his stamp on Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen last season proved!
Watch Cameroon hope Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting firing in the goals for his club:
How far can they go?
If Cameroon want to have any chance of matching their Italia 90 showing they will need to make a fast start against Mexico, before taking on the hosts Brazil and a dangerous Croatia side. Anything but three points from their opening clash in Brazil will make life difficult for the Indomitable Lions in Group A and an early exit beckons. But as has been proved in years gone by Finke’s side will be backed to the hilt by the travelling Cameroonian support and on their day they could upset the odds just as Roger Milla and co did in 1990.
Watch as Cameroon legend Roger Milla scores twice in extra-time against Colombia to send the Indomitable Lions to the Italia 90 quarter-finals:
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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