Cameroon v Brazil
The Brazilian team is qualified for the next phase of the World Cup in Qatar and will decide in this match against Cameroon whether they will finish first in Group G. A seemingly easy game that will allow coach Tite to rest some players and test a new formation.
Cameroon fought back from 3-1 down against Serbia to secure a draw. However, it doesn’t look like it’ll be enough to qualify unless they can shock Brazil in the final group match. The African side are currently 2 points behind Switzerland. A draw won’t do for Cameroon.
Vincent Aboubakar came on in the last game and made a world of difference. The striker linked up well with Choupo-Moting and was a constant threat running in behind the Serbian defence. His impact left many questioning why Rigobert Song didn’t start the veteran forward in either match of the tournament.
Tite looks set to name a heavily rotated squad in this game with qualification for the knockouts already secured. Cameroon may take some encouragement from this fact but Brazil’s squad depth is one of the reasons they are so highly-fancied to win this tournament. Brazil haven’t conceded a shot on target in the tournament as of yet so a gung-ho approach from Cameroon may be required to get the necessary goals.
With an average of 3 goals scored and 2.4 expected goals (xG), Brazil is a team that creates many chances for goals and even with a high volume of chances, ends up scoring more goals than expected. In the last 10 matches, Brazil scored at least 2 goals 80% of the time.
The biggest highlight of this team is its ability to defend itself and not give up too many chances to opponents. With an average of 0.3 goals conceded to 1 expected goal against (xGA), Brazil has not conceded a goal in official competition games since January, against Ecuador in the qualifiers.
Brazil are naturally inclined to attack and the Cameroonians will be forced to in order to chase 3 points. I expect an end-to-end fixture with the superior quality of Brazil to come out on top. Attackers like Martinelli and Antony will be looking to play their way into the starting 11 and they have the quality to take advantage of the space left by Cameroon.
In the first stage of Tite’s work, Gabriel Jesus was the national team’s top scorer and always had the confidence of the coach. In this second stage, he lost space, both as a winger and as a centre forward. But he must play against Cameroon and is in good form at Arsenal.
Between the elimination to Belgium in 2018 and his debut against Serbia in 2022, Jesus played 2185 minutes for the national team and averaged 0.37 goals scored and 0.4 expected goals (xG), as well as 0.2 assists and 0.4 expected assists (xA), per 90 minutes. He is a player who can both score a goal and assist a teammate.
Choupo-Moting has had a shot on target in both games so far and has looked lively spearheading the attack.
The Bayern striker has started both games as the central focal point of the attack in a 4-3-3 in both World Cup matches so far. This puts him right between the posts and in the ideal position to get his shots away. He also linked up well with Aboubakar when his countryman was introduced against Serbia. Vincent ran beyond the Serbian defensive line and squared the ball for Choupo-Moting to place the ball into an empty net.
The forward is averaging 1.7 shots on target per game at club level this season. The importance of this fixture should mean remains on the pitch as his country hunt for goals. As previously mentioned, Brazil are yet to concede a shot on target in this tournament but Cameroon’s desperation in attack will help our cause here.
Tolo has made 2 fouls in both matches in the tournament so it’s surprising to see him priced so much bigger than Fai for 1+ fouls (they are both good value).
Ricardo Rodriguez played as left-back for Switzerland and made 1 foul. Stahinja Pavlovic took charge of the defensive details down that side for Serbia. He also made 1 foul.
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