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Nigeria vs Cameroon: Where the game will be won and lost

4:00 PM WAT 03/06/2021
Ndidi - Super Eagles
Goal consider the factors that could swing Friday’s friendly between the African giants in Austria either way
  • Oghenekaro Etebo - Nigeria vs. Cameroon

    Nigeria vs Cameroon

    Both African giants face off in the first of two friendlies on Friday, looking to continue preparations for their World Cup qualifiers which begin in September.

    Nigeria have had the upper hand over old foes Cameroon in recent competitive meetings. Their last encounter ended 3-2 to the Super Eagles at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

    Gernot Rohr remains unbeaten against the Indomitable Lions and he’ll want to preserve his unbeaten run against the Central African nation.

  • Gernot Rohr - Nigeria

    Dearth of options

    This cannot be emphasised enough. Nigeria have 20 players in their squad, while Cameroon expect 26 in camp.

    Three of the Super Eagles in the squad are goalkeepers, leaving Gernot Rohr with only six outfield players on the bench for Friday night.

    This essentially means the West African nation won’t have a wealth of options to choose from, thus limiting the wiggle room to impact the game.

    Several key players had to withdraw from the three-time African champions’ squad and their absences will be felt when the teams face off on Friday.

  • Nigeria training - Kelechi Iheanacho

    Dealing with fatigue

    It was an onerous campaign for the majority of these players on both sides, with little or no rest granted throughout the season.

    Despite the two-week hiatus since the conclusion of the major domestic leagues, they are likely to still be knackered from the accumulated run of matches for their clubs.

    Given the shortage of options for Nigeria, this may play a part in the game’s closing stages as players start to tire.

  • Ghana's midfielder Samuel Owusu prepares to take a shot as he is marked by Cameroon's midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

    Stopping Andre Zambo Anguissa

    At his best, Zambo Anguissa is near unplayable in midfield.

    His direct running, strength and ability to glide past his marker were on show for relegated Fulham during the season. While his talent didn’t prevent the Cottagers from beating the drop, he remains a threat on his day.

    Wilfred Ndidi’s midfield nous will be hugely important in stopping the Cameroon star and their battle ought to make for interesting viewing on Friday.

  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting Cameroon 2019

    Thwarting Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

    The 32-year-old may be a bit-part player at Bayern, but he remains a key part of Toni Conceicao’s team.

    Choupo-Moting is a versatile attacking threat, and those qualities could threaten to disrupt a Super Eagles defence that’s likely to be rejigged on Friday.

    His strength in aerial duels could be important in both boxes—defending and attacking set-pieces—which gives Cameroon a weapon at the two ends of the pitch.

  • Alex Iwobi

    Forming cohesion in double-quick time

    Injuries and withdrawals of several key starters — Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, Zaidu Sanusi and co. — mean there’s a risk of a disjointed performance against the Indomitable Lions with on-pitch relationships still in their infancy.

    Indeed, the absence of the usual integrated structure and organisation will affect the level of performance of the Nigerians in Austria.

    They’ve had only a few days to train, with players also arriving at different times, so anyone expecting a cohesive performance should have a rethink.