The final group A game of the World Cup sees Cameroon vs Brazil (Brasil) take place at Estádio Nacional de Brasilia in Brasília on Monday, 1:00 PM Pacific, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that it is match which the hosts dare not lose.
Despite being placed as overwhelming favourites to lift their 6th World Cup title in front of their home supporters, Brazil have been disappointing so far to say the least. The Seleção were lucky to claim a 3-1 victory over Croatia in their first group game, while they could not have any complaints about their 0-0 draw against Mexico.
Therefore, it is of paramount importance for Brazil to not just claim victory in their clash against Cameroon but also to do it in style to please the unconvinced supporters. While a draw maybe enough for Brazil to go through to the knockout stages, a win will guarantee a top place finish and potentially avoid a clash against Netherlands in the next round of the competition.
Cameroon, on the other hand, are already out of the competition following two woeful performances against Mexico and Croatia.
Ahead of the tournament, many believed that the African nation had a great chance of making it out of their group but through their performances in Brazil, it is easy to see that there are a couple of deep rooted problems within Cameroon’s ranks which need to be addressed before they can bring back the glory days.
Their match against Brazil will be of little importance for Cameroon but that being said, the African nation would certainly want to end their tournament on a positive note following a torrid fortnight.
With Cameroon already out of the competition, it would not be a surprise to see manager Volker Finke hand a couple of youngsters a chance to shine against Brazil.
Charles Itandje will probably start in goal but there will surely be a host of changes at the back. Benoît Assou-Ekotto is sure to be dropped after headbutting teammate Benjamin Moukandjo, while Aurélien Chedjou could also have to be content with only a place on the bench.
Nicolas N’Koulou will probably start at the heart of the defence alongside Dany Nounkeu while Allan Nyom and Henri Bedimo could be occupying the full back positions.
Alex Song is suspended following his moment of madness and Eyong Enoh looks a likely replacement while Joel Matip and Stéphane Mbia will probably lineup in midfield.
Samuel Eto’o has been ruled out with a knee injury and will not feature against Brazil, which means that Pierre Webó is most likely to be leading the line while Maxim Choupo-Moting and Vincent Aboubakar will provide the support.
It is clear to see that Brazil are not quite working as cohesive unit despite possessing a host of top class players in their ranks. As a result, manager Luiz Felipe Scolari could think about making a couple of changes to the lineup to reinvigorate his side.
The defence will most probably remain unchanged with Julio Cesar starting in goal and the Queens Park Rangers man will be shielded by a defence consisting of Marcelo, Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Dani Alves.
Luiz Gustavo has given a good account of himself and should start in midfield but Paulinho could be dropped in place of the more adventurous Hernanes or Ramires.
In terms of attacking prowess Neymar and Oscar are certain starters but it remains to be seen who will be deployed on the right. Hulk has returned from injury but will probably not be risked and young Bernard looks a strong contender to start.
Fred has been disappointing in the past two games but Scolari looks set to persist with the 30-year old while Jo also remains an option to start upfront.
Cameroon (Probable XI): Itandje; N’Koulou, Nounkeu, Nyom, Bedimo; Enoh, Matip, Mbia, Choupo-Moting, Aboubakar; Webó
Brazil (Probable XI): Cesar; Marcelo, Silva, Luiz, Alves; Neymar, Oscar, Luiz Gusatvo, Hernanes, Bernard; Fred
Cameroon vs Brazil Prediction
It goes without saying that Brazil are overwhelming favourites to claim victory in their clash against Cameroon. The hosts have everything to play for while Cameroon do not have much incentive to win the game.
While anything else than a victory will be disastrous for Brazil, the fans will also want their team to put in a much improved performance than they have done in their first two games. Therefore one can expect Brazil to go all guns blazing and look to score as many as possible.
That being said, Cameroon would also want to end their miserable World Cup on a positive note and will surely not look to make it easy for their opponents.
Brazil certainly have not been at their best so far but up against a completely out of sorts Cameroon, the Seleção should claim a comfortable victory.
Cameroon 0 – 3 Brazil
Cameroon vs Brazil Television
The Cameroon vs Brazil match will be televised in the USA on ESPN3 (stream) and Univision Deportes at 1:00 PM Pacific.