Cameroon vs Serbia Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Cameroon vs Serbia Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Updated: 2 months, 1 day, 21 hours, 19 minutes, 29 seconds ago

Cameroon will lock horns against Serbia in a Group G fixture at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with both sides looking to get their first points on the board.

Cameroon and Serbia clash at the World Cup on Monday in a game that neither side can afford to lose. Both teams could take positives from their first games. But Serbia are littered with talent from some of the top leagues across Europe, which could hold the key to securing a result here.

Cameroon were beaten 1-0 by Switzerland in their opening game, with one of their own, Breel Embolo, coming back to haunt his home country in a tightly-contested game where the Indomitable Lions came unstuck despite creating plenty of good scoring chances.

They are now winless in five consecutive matches (D2 L3). While defensively they were mean and only conceded three shots on target, their recent troubles have been attributed to a lack of zip in attack, with the team scoring just twice in their last five games.

Like their opponents, Serbia were also beaten in their opening fixture, falling to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of tournament favourites Brazil. While it was a disappointing result, manager Dragan Stojkovic will be keen to focus on the positives of their performance.

Ranking of Group G of the FIFA World Cup #Qatar2022 pic.twitter.com/xkzafuFuVy

— Qatar World Cup 2022 (NFT) (@QatarWC2022NFT) November 24, 2022

They put up a valiant fight for most of the match before they were eventually unlocked by some dazzling Brazilian class. Serbia were nowhere near their attacking best, although this might be because they were set up to frustrate the Brazilians. Expect a more front-footed approach from them, and given the quality of their strike force, they should cause lots of problems for the Africans.

Serbia are in a tricky situation, with Switzerland also being in the mix for qualification to the next round as the Nati side have already defeated Cameroon. Should the Eagles also prevail against the Africans here and the Swiss fail to cause an upset against Brazil, it will all come down to the tiebreaker against each other on the final matchday to determine who shall join Brazil in the last 16 of the tournament from an evenly-poised Group G.

Team News & Tactics

Cameroon

COUPE DU MONDE FIFA QATAR 2022

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— Les Lions Indomptables Officiel (@LIndomptables) November 25, 2022

Many expected Cameroon to look out of their depth against elite-level opponents at the World Cup and crash out in a humiliating fashion. In contrast, Rigobert Song’s side were enterprising throughout and enjoyed long periods of dominance in their game against the 15th-ranked nation, Switzerland. They are likely to put on a similar energetic performance against Serbia.

The Indomitable Lions looked a well-balanced side, with a competent midfield, comprising of Napoli lynchpin Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Gael Ondoua, and defensive midfield powerhouse Martin Hongla.

In addition, there is plenty of attacking endeavour, with the likes of Lyon star Karl Toko Ekambi and Brentford brick wall winger Bryan Mbeumo stretching the flanks. The duo will cause problems with their pace, power, and trickery.

The only aspect manager Rigobert Song will be concerned about will be their ability to make good moments in attacking third count, which is strange as in Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, they have some good depth in the striking department. However, both struggled to get into the game last time out and largely relied on scraps for most of the game, with the Bayern Munich forward even dropping deep to connect play.

Aboubakar came on as a substitute in their opening game and is likely to be given the nod from the start on Monday. The former FC Porto goal machine was the top scorer at the AFCON earlier this year and will look to open his and Cameroon’s accounts in Qatar. Choupo-Moting could be relegated to the bench and is likely to be used as an impact sub.

Song is likely to pick the same defensive lineup that put in a resilient defensive effort against Switzerland. Andre Onana will function in goal after making several good stops to keep his team in the game last time out.

Nicolas N’Koulou will play alongside stalwart Jean-Charles Castelletto at the heart of the backline as they try to keep Serbia’s deadly strikers at bay during the 90 minutes. Nouhou Tolo will fill in at right-back, while energetic Collins Fai hopes to catch the eye on the other flank as the left-back.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Onana; Fai, Castelletto, N’Koulou, Tolo; Hongla, Ondoua, Anguissa; Mbeumo, Aboubakar, Toko Ekambi

Serbia

Juventus wing-back Fillip Kostic did not play in the first game against Brazil and is therefore doubtful to start here. This is a big blow for Serbia, as they tend to rely quite a bit on set pieces and crosses to generate their attacks with the striking duo of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic in the box.

Speaking of the strike force, Vlahovic only featured off the bench against Brazil and may be in line to start in this game alongside Mitrovic as they seek additional firepower up top. The Juventus striker has been in fine form this season despite his club’s struggles and can offer creativity and better link-up play. He is also a deadly striker of the ball.

Serbia have highly-talented midfielders in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Dusan Tadic, who can unlock the opponent’s defence with a single pass. Both were surprisingly quiet last time out but could do well to showcase their skillset here in a make-or-break game for their side.

They could also look to get the ball out wide to either Filip Mladenovic or Andrija Zivkovic to swing crosses into the two forwards. Meanwhile, Torino enforcer Sasa Lukic is likely to be Milinkovic-Savic’s partner in the middle of the park.

Elsewhere, manager Dragan Stojkovic is not expected to change the formation or personnel at the back, sticking with Nikola Milenkovic, Milos Veljkovic, and Strahinja Pavlovic, with Vanja Milinkovic-Savic manning the goal in behind.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Vanja Milinkovic-Savic; Milenkovic, Veljkovic, Pavlovic; Zivkovic, Lukic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Mladenovic; Tadic; Vlahovic, Mitrovic

Key Stats

This will only be the second encounter between the two teams, with Serbia securing a 4-3 friendly victory in June 2010. Serbia have only met an African team once since then, in March 2018, when they defeated Nigeria 2-0 in a friendly match. Serbia have lost eight of their last ten FIFA World Cup matches. Cameroon have lost their last eight FIFA World Cup matches. Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored six times in Serbia’s last six competitive matches.

Player to Watch

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Players like Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic have been prolific so far in the domestic campaign. But Serbia did not register a single shot on target against Brazil and only managed four shots in the whole game. However, Cameroon are not at the level of Brazil, and Serbia should be capable of carving out a few clear-cut chances for their talismanic striker Mitrovic, who could prove to be the difference-maker here.

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The Fulham striker has been in sensational scoring form for both club and country for some time now, boasting 50 goals from 77 Serbia caps. He powered his country through the qualification process, and he also netted nine goals in 12 Premier League outings for the Cottagers. Expect him to bulge the net here.

Prediction

Cameroon 1-2 Serbia

Monday’s game is likely to be a tense affair with a lot on the line; therefore, goals may be scarce. This is a tough one to call as Serbia were in such free-scoring form prior to the Brazil game, scoring 18 goals from 8 games and pipping Portugal to the top spot in their World Cup qualification group.

Much will depend on whether manager Dragan Stojkovic gets more out of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic. But if he does, Serbia stand every chance of securing a much-needed win over Cameroon in order to revitalise Serbia’s hopes of progression. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Serbia, with Mitrovic rising to the occasion.