With no margin for error following opening-day losses, Cameroon and Serbia face each other in Monday’s must-win 2022 World Cup Group G fixture at 10.00 am.
With an ominously-looking match-up against tournament favoruites Brazil awaiting them on matchday three, the Cameroonians will take the Al Janoub Stadium pitch searching for all three points.
But since their upcoming rivals are in a similar position, this promises to be a stern test for the five-time Africa Cup of Nations winners.
Seen as potential dark horses to replicate Croatia’s dream run to the 2018 World Cup grand final, Serbia looked up the creek without a paddle against Brazil on day one.
Inspired by Richarlison’s second-half double, the Brazilians swept Dragan Stojkovic’s side with a comfortable 2-0 victory, crushing the Serbs’ spirits early in the tournament.
While Stojkovic lamented a lack of fitness for some of his significant first-team stars, including Aleksandar Mitrovic and Filip Kostic, there’s no denying the Eagles spent most of the match in a ‘spectator mode.’
Losing ‘to nil’ in their first World Cup match since a dreadful group-stage campaign back in 2014 was not what Cameroon had in mind when they dispatched Algeria in the qualifying play-offs.
However, the fact is that the Cameroonians have now lost each of their last eight matches at the World Cup, only one shy of the worst-ever losing streak in the tournament’s history set by Mexico between 1930 and 1958.
It is also worth noting that the Indomitable Lions have gone winless in their last 12 games against countries from the UEFA confederation (D3, L9) since beating Romania in 1990.
Nothing less than victory will do for Serbia’s faint hopes of making it out of the World Cup group stages for the first time as an independent nation following two busted attempts in a row.
Since gaining their independence in 2006, the Serbs have recorded the highest loss percentage of any nation to have played at least ten World Cup matches (80%), losing eight times in ten outings in the competition.
If that’s not ominous enough for Stojkovic’s high aspirations, Serbia’s porous backline that has failed to keep a clean sheet in seven of their last nine fixtures may dampen his optimism.
Cameroon vs Serbia Head-to-Head
Serbia have fond memories of their only previous meeting with Cameroon, having run out 4-3 winners in a friendly clash in 2010. However, the Serbs have lost each of their two World Cup matches against African countries as a sovereign nation.
By contrast, the Cameroonians have racked up just one victory from their 15 encounters against European teams at the World Cup finals (D5, L9). So it’s not like they’ll be brimming with confidence.
Cameroon vs Serbia Potential Line-ups
Cameroon (4-3-3): Andre Onana; Collins Fai, Nicolas N’Koulou, Jean-Charles Castelletto, Houhou Tolo; Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Gael Ondoua, Martin Hongla; Bryan Mbeumo, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Karl Toko Ekambi.
Serbia (3-4-1-2): Vanja Milinkovic-Savic; Nikola Milenkovic, Milos Veljkovic, Strahinja Pavlovic; Andrija Zivkovic, Nemanja Gudelj, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Filip Mladenovic; Dusan Tadic; Dusan Vlahovic, Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Cameroon vs Serbia Prediction
Serbia performed below all expectations against a mighty Brazil, but Stojkovic’s men possess the quality to bounce back, as evidenced by their stellar qualifying campaign.
As for Cameroon, there’s a feeling they got much less than they deserved against Switzerland. Like the Serbs, they have players capable of winning games on their own.
Given the importance of this fixture, we expect that whoever scores first will go on to claim three points. However, a share of the spoils could well be on the cards.
Cameroon 1-1 Serbia
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