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World Cup

  • 18 June 2014
  • • 23:00
  • • Arena Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas
  • Referee: Pedro Proença
  • • Attendance: 39982

Cameroon - Croatia Preview: Eto’o misses out but Mandzukic is back in

Cameroon - Croatia Preview: Eto’o misses out but Mandzukic is back in

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The talismanic striker has confirmed that he will sit out the match through injury, while the Croats can bring back the Bayern Munich forward following suspension

By Sam Lee in Manaus

Samuel Eto’o will miss Wednesday’s match between Cameroon and Croatia in Manaus, with both sides well aware that defeat could spell the end of their World Cup dreams.
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Eto’o exacerbated a knee problem during the first-round defeat to Mexico, and is unlikely to feature against Brazil next Monday.

The striker revealed that he felt pain just nine minutes into his fourth World Cup, blaming a lack of recovery time in the past three months.
Coach Volker Finke – or his four Cameroonian assistants - could bring in Pierre Webo or Vincent Aboubakar, or move Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting to the middle.

It looks likely that Finke will stick with the three central midfield players from the first match, as they look to over-power Croatia’s creative but diminutive duo Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric.

Whatever happens, they will have to do better than in their first match when they managed just one shot on target – and that was in the 91st minute.

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Croatia should have Modric available despite the Real Madrid midfielder going to hospital with foot pain after the controversial 3-1 loss to Brazil. 
Mario Mandzukic will also be back in the line-up after serving a suspension against Brazil.
This will be the first ever meeting between the sides, and the first time Croatia meet an African team at the World Cup.
The conditions in Manaus – still humid despite the temperature having cooled since Italy’s victory over England on Saturday - could play a part in the outcome, although the local fans are sure to boo any slow or overly defensive play yet again.
And they may well have plenty to complain about considering the two teams’ World Cup form: in their respective last five matches at this level, Cameroon have lost every time and Croatia are without a win.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Cameroon CMR
Cameroon Cameroon
Croatia HRV
Croatia Croatia

Top 3 Predictions

Cameroon CMR
0 - 2
Croatia HRV
Cameroon CMR
1 - 2
Croatia HRV
Cameroon CMR
2 - 1
Croatia HRV