Brazil will be aiming to continue their winning run when they play their last match of 2018 against Cameroon at Stadium MK on Tuesday.
The last week of the final international break in 2018 is underway, as teams across the world play their concluding games of 2018. One of the in-form teams in the second half of the year, Brazil will be hoping to end the year on a high when they lock horns with Cameroon at Stadium MK on Tuesday night.
Brazil have been formidable since their ouster from the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the quarter-finals. The Selecao are yet to be defeated, and have not even conceded a single goal in the five friendlies they have played thus far, as they continue their preparations for next year’s Copa America, which is set to be played at home.
Cameroon, on the other hand, have not managed to get into top gear in the early days of Clarence Seedorf’s reign of the national side. The Indomitable Lions have won just one of the four matches that the Dutch legend has overseen, and the side are currently second in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying group.
The last clash between the two sides ended in a comfortable 4-1 win for Brazil, with Neymar scoring a match winning brace. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
The match against Uruguay last week was a taxing affair, and Tite has chosen to afford the majority of the players who featured in that game a light workout. Those who did not start, on the other hand, have taken part in full training sessions, suggesting that the Brazil head coach is set to ring in the changes against Cameroon.
One player who seems certain to be handed a rest is Neymar, who did not appear on the training field at all on the weekend. In his stead, Richarlison looks the likeliest to return to the starting lineup and start on the left side of the attack.
Gabriel Jesus should start as well, replacing Roberto Firmino to be the focal point of the Brazilian attack, while Willian is expected to man the right flank. Willian and Richarlison will be major proponents of Brazil’s quick transitions, which will largely be facilitated by former Barcelona teammates Paulinho and Rafinha.
While Paulinho and Rafinha will look to create overloads in the final third, Allan will be key in the middle of the park, providing cover to the back four in his typical all action style. Meanwhile, Dede and Pablo appear set to start at the heart of Brazil’s defence, while Fabinho and Alex Sandro should be the full-backs. Meanwhile, Ederson is likely to get a rare start in goal.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Fabinho, Dede, Pablo, Sandro; Paulinho, Allan, Rafinha; Willian, Jesus, Richarlison
Clarence Seedorf does not have any fresh injury concerns after Ambroise Ayongo and Petrus Boumal’s withdrawal from the squad due to their respective injuries. But, the Cameroon head coach could shuffle his side somewhat as he continues to identify his best eleven and style.
So far, the 4-3-3 has been more or less the preferred formation for Seedorf, with the frontline being set to a great extent. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is the go-to man for the Cameroon boss, with the PSG star being deployed on the left flank. Karl Toko Ekambi should don the armband and start on the opposite flank.
Christian Bassagog started as the Cameroon striker last time around against Morocco, but Clinton N’Jie could get a chance on Tuesday. In the middle of the park, Seedorf appears to be banking on three players who can primarily keep things tight before moving the ball forward at pace.
These three midfielders should be Georges Mandjeck, Arnaud Djoum and Andre-Franck Zambo Anguissa. The back four is likely to feature Yaya Banana, Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Gaetan Bong and Collins Fai. But, the superstar-in-the-making is surely Andre Onana, who has made the goalkeeping slot his own on the back of several impressive performances.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Onana; Fai, Banana, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Bong; Djoum, Mandjeck, Zambo Anguissa; Toko Ekambi, N’Jie, Choupo-Moting
- Brazil hold a favourable head-to-head record against Cameroon, having won four of the five meetings between the two sides. The only loss came in the 2003 Confederations Cup, with the Indomitable Lions winning 1-0.
- Brazil have won five friendlies and conceded no goals (11 goals scored) since being eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
- In fact, all of Brazil’s last 12 victories have remarkably been to nil.
- Cameroon have managed just two wins in their last ten international games (D4 L4).
- Clarence Seedorf has only managed to win one of the four games he has overseen as the Cameroon head coach (D2 L1).
Player to Watch
With Casemiro pulling out of the squad due to injury, the latest international break was a chance for Tite to identify the ideal backup to the Real Madrid superstar. Walace passed his test against Uruguay to a great extent, and Allan now has the chance to make an impression.
The 27-year-old has been a silent workhorse in an eye catching Napoli side, which is why some of his exploits often go unnoticed. But, Allan has played a key role in the Partenopei’s consistency in Italian football of late, which suggests why Tite has turned towards him.
Now set to make his full debut for the national side, Allan has the chance to carve out a place for himself in Tite’s plans for the foreseeable future, especially with next summer’s Copa America looming large.
Brazil 2-0 Cameroon
Brazil have, to an extent, rediscovered the swagger that saw them being billed as one of the favourites for the 2018 FIFA World Cup before their rather unspectacular ouster. The Selecao have not shied away from being dogged in tough games either, as evidenced by their narrow win over Uruguay.
But, what has been most impressive about their recent performances is their solidity at the back, with Tite forging a solid defensive unit. Cameroon, on the other hand, are not having the best of times these days, with Clarence Seedorf struggling to adjust quickly to the demands of the national side.
Goals have been especially hard to come by, and against a formidable Brazilian backline, Cameroon’s struggles could increase on Tuesday. The Hard Tackle predicts Tite & co. to coast to a comfortable 2-0 win at Stadium MK.