Just a day after the official commencement of the 2014 World Cup, the tournament continues with an interesting clash between Group A wildcards Mexico and Cameroon. With Croatia and hosts Brazil waiting at the next fixtures, both sides will definitely be looking to start off on the right foot today.
Mexico, who owe their qualification to a late American winner against Panama in the qualifiers, are facing problems in midfield as the injuries of Juan Carlos Medina and Luis Montes have left a huge gap in the centre.
Nevertheless, manager Miguel Herrera is facing a pleasant dilemma regarding the goalkeeper position as all three of his stoppers are very qualified. Nevertheless, it looks like Guillermo Ochoa will be starting on goal. Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is expected to start on the bench with Oribe Peralta and Giovani dos Santos featuring up front.
Cameroon have finally landed in Brazil after a dispute regarding the team’s bonus payments and questions have risen regarding tempers within the squad. Nevertheless, manager Volker Finke will be relying on the experience of Samuel Eto’o, the growing reputation of Mainz forward Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and the skills of former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song.
KICK-OFF: Friday, 5pm
Mexico 1 (Guzman) Cameroon 0, International friendly, September 1993
Mexico’s best World Cup run took place in 1970 and 1986 where the Verde hosted the competition and finished in the quarter-finals.
Cameroon became the first ever African nation to make it to the World Cup quarter-finals in Italia ’90 where striker Roger Milla also became the all-time oldest scorer in the history of the competition.
Former Liverpool and West Ham defender Rigobert Song has amassed more caps than any other for the Cameroon national team.
Former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o is the team’s all-time top scorer with 56 goals.
In their last four friendlies Mexico have beaten Israel and fellow World Cup competitors Ecuador but fell short against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Portugal. On the other hand, Cameroon only beat FYROM, drew Germany and lost to Paraguay and Portugal.
Mexico to win: 5.4
Cameroon to win: 13.5
TV: Live on ITV at 5pm