The Swiss lost 2-0 to Ghana in their last warm up game building up to this competition in a game where most of their players collectively put up a lackadaisical team effort to earn the loss. Take nothing away from the European nation, they’d approach this game with more seriousness against an opposition that hasn’t done well for themselves recently either.

Draws against Panama and Jamaica plus losses to South Korea and minnows Uzbekistan in their last four games, just enough to prove that the Cameroonians are beatable just in case you were wondering. The African powerhouse of football will come into this tournament with hopes of advancing to the last 16 for the first time since 1990 and must begin to show that they have plans of doing so with a good performance against a well drilled Swiss side.

The strength and problems of Cameroon include physical nature and indiscipline respectively, in their last two appearances on the world stage they went on to lose all three group games in 2010 and 2014. Though they looked solid in the last Afcon where they finished 3rd, there are question marks over the heads of certain players like skipper Vincent Aboubakar who can’t seem to find the net since after the tournament in January. They’d be relying on Karl Toko Ekambi and in form Bayern striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to get the goals against a solid Switzerland back four which will have Manuel Akanji of Manchester City and Newcastle’s Fabian Schar at the heart of defense starting for sure. There are some decent forwards in the Cameroon squad that can cause the Swiss some harm but their midfield is where their powers lie with Andre Zambo Anguissa in the form of his life possibly partnering Pierre Kunde in a central midfield two and two wide men in what looks like Rigobert Song’s preferred 3-4-3 formation.

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The Swiss themselves are not short of quality in midfield as they parade a team that has Granit Xhaka and Chelsea’s Denis Zakaria, in personally think the game will be won in the midfield, which players get the most right passes and goes on to make better tackles. I expect the Europeans to dominate possession with the quality that they have and well established midfielders. Murat Yakin will most likely set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with practically 5 in midfield to overload that department of the pitch and I feel like this is where Cameroon may struggle to stay disciplined and lose coordination.

When you have the likes of Breel Embolo with so much speed and strength in attack against Cameroon’s duo of Nicolas N`Koulou and Jean-Charles Castelletto at the heart of defense, scary times await you as a Cameroonian I promise you. I feel like both teams aren’t really far apart, not necessarily evenly matched because the notable difference in talent is evident, I do not expect many goals in this one, I doubt if it’d be an entertaining game to watch as well, I predict both managers playing the cautious card and looking to watch the opponent’s next move before taking decisions, a tight one to call to be honest but history does not favor the Africans.

Overall I have this pessimistic perception concerning the Central African nation in this competition, on a tactical ground, they’d struggle, Swiss has more experienced players with the likes of  Xherdan Shaqiri, veteran goalkeeper Yan Sommer and Sebastian Frei going forward. They do not concede easily (they hold a record for exiting the world cup without conceding a single goal in 2010) as their teams are always built on a solid defensive foundation, they have goal set piece takers who can deliver dangerous balls into the opposition box, a problem Cameroon has often struggled to deal with under current manager.

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Tight one to call, the World Cup hasn’t gone as many expected with shocks from Asian teams Saudi Arabia and Japan stunning Argentina and Germany in the past few days, in this game, I go for a 2-0 victory for Switzerland. I believe they can get goals with their fairly good forwards, and Cameroon does not look like they can break down that solid Swiss back line.

Written by Charles.E. Ofili

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