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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group E - Cameroon

Nickname – Les Lions Indomables (The Indomitable Lions)

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Cameroon started with Otto Pfister at the elm finishing top 16 points easily in a less challenging group just few months before they headed to the final qualifying group with Gabon, Togo and Morocco on it. Otto Pfister was dismissed after a bad start and Le Guen was instated as the new coach to what might explain the change of luck meaning they won the last four games to finish top with 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. Eto’o was the artist to sketch 9 goals to his personal account.

H2H

Jun 14 Bloemfontein Japan v Cameroon - Tough task for Cameroon ahead of the first match against Japan. Les Lions Indomables never scored against Japan and never won against them.

Jun 19 Pretoria Cameroon v Denmark - Both nations are leveled in terms of results in the h-2-h. They have won 1 time each by the same result, 2-1. In spite of this, Cameroon has not lost the last 3 matches against European competitors (Italy & Austria). The last time Denmark played against African opposition was back in 2003 when they won by a comfortable margin, 1-4 against Egypt.

Jun 24 Cape Town Cameroon v Netherlands - Here’s another hard mission for the African team, which is Netherlands one major candidate to win the trophy and if that was not it not add the fact that Cameroon never won nor scored against Holland.

Goalkeepers: Guy Roland Ndy Assembe (Valenciennes), Carlos Kameni (Espanyol), Hamidou Souleymanou (Kayserispor)

Defenders: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham), Sebastien Bassong (Tottenham), Gaetan Bong (Valenciennes), Aurelien Chedjou (Lille), Geremi (Ankaragucu), Stephane Mbia (Marseille), Nicolas Nkoulou (Monaco), Rigobert Song (Trabzonspor)

Midfielders: Achille Emana (Real Betis), Eyong Enoh (Ajax), Jean Makoun (Lyon), Georges Mandjeck (Kaiserslautern), Joel Matip (Schalke), Landry NGuemo (Celtic), Alex Song (Arsenal)

Strikers: Vincent Aboubakar (Coton Sport), Eric Choupo-Moting (Nurnberg), Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan), Mohamadou Idrissou (Freiburg), Achille Webo (Real Mallorca).

FORMATION

Paul Le Guen uses a 4-4-2 formation changing swiftly to 4-3-3 under closing down strategy and pressing opponent’s possession high up the pitch. Kameni; Assou-Ekotto, Bassong, Rig. Song, Mbia; Makoun, Alex Song, Matip, Nguemo; Eto’o & Webo.

BEST PLAYERS

Carlos Kameni plays for Espanyol and is considered to be the Buffon from Africa; probably this season after a solid World Cup we will see him moving to a more profiled and challenging team next term. Indubitably, he has the reflexes, agility, rushing out, and intelligence which are some of the designated things you need on a goalkeeper. He will be able to provide safety between the posts.

Samuel Eto’o is the Mr. African Goal. 50 matches, 20 goals, 7 assists, average 3 shots per game. After leaving Barcelona to join Internazionale Eto’o became one of the few players worldwide to win both Domestic and International titles in the same season for different clubs. While at Inter, he was given a more ample task in the field going back and forth instead of being just a forward and Cameroon’s coach Paul Le Guen has taken that into account by preserving him in the same perspective. So beyond his deadly pedigree to score goals he started to assist and to create opportunities to his teammates whether we talk about nation or club. Numbers identify him as one of the best ever strikers football as seen. 125 goals in 183 matches for Barcelona. 42 goals in 87 matches playing for his country. He will surely emulate Roger Milla’s World Cup in Italy but this time playing in his “own” soil the greater continent of Africa.

SURPRISE

STATEMENTS

“We have again made people believe in this team. It’s a great achievement for all of us to be able to play in a World Cup, especially one in Africa. We are dangerous because we have a good mix of experience, and we have learned to play together,” Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o.

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- Paul Le Guen –

1 Ligue 1 – Olympique Lyon - 2003, 2004, 2005;

1 Coupe de la Ligue – Paris Saint-Germain - 2008;

3 Trophée des Champions - Olympique Lyon – 2002, 2003, 2004.

Career made of 452 matches with 49% Win, 23% Draw, 27% Loss, GS 1,47 GA 1

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – African nations are well known by their stamina and strength effect and Cameroon are no different. Turning that into advantage alongside fast movements will allow Les Lions Indomables to capitalize as well the usage of Eto’o which is an invaluable asset playing anywhere. Although this season he has been asked to sacrifice his individual in favor of the group, walking into this competition will change that and for sure we will see Cameroon benefiting from Eto’o brilliance.

Weaknesses – They do not have the youngest squad even when that can introduce experience levels. But experience brings you expertise in terms of positioning but at the expense of pace and that can complicate Cameroon’s perspectives. From the last matches they played often they have not scored a single goal.

Opportunities – Using the pace and deadly ability to score goals of Eto’o to unlock Denmark in the second game which seems to be by far the most important they will have. Winning that game will ease final calculations. If they deliver in terms of performance in the first 2 matches there will be room for a surprise against Netherlands.

Threats – Beyond most recent matches played also they will have a tough task ahead of the first match against Japan. Les Lions Indomables never scored against Japan and never won against them.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Number 19 of the World, Cameroon is ahead of Nigeria, Australia and Slovenia and behind of Uruguay, Mexico, Serbia and Chile.

ACHIEVEMENTS

1 Olympic Gold Medal – 2000;

4 African Cup of Nations – 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002;

1 Afro-Asian Cup of Nations – 1985;

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

Cameroon 2 1 Gabon

Cameroon 3 0 Togo

Angola 0 0 Cameroon

Morocco 0 2 Cameroon

Kenya 1 3 Cameroon

Cameroon 0 1 Gabon

Cameroon 3 2 Zambia

Cameroon 2 2 Tunisia

Egypt 3 1 Cameroon

Cameroon 0 0 Italy

Georgia 0 0 Cameroon

Slovakia 1 1 Cameroon

Portugal 3 1 Cameroon


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