Cameroon will look to confirm their status as Group F winners in the 2021 Afcon qualifiers when they play host to a Rwanda side fighting to secure second on Tuesday at 8pm (UK time).
As host nation Cameroon were always guaranteed a place in next year’s tournament but The Indomitable Lions have refused to allow their preordained status affect their performances in Group F, and they can confirm top spot with a result on Tuesday. But, Rwanda are fighting for their lives to progress and should pose a few problems of their own.
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Scoreline prediction: Cameroon 2-0 Rwanda
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Cameroon vs Rwanda build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Toni Conceicao’s side have cantered to the summit and will be looking to conclude their qualification campaign in style. A 3-1 loss to Cape Verde last time out has just threatened to dampen the feel-good factor permeating the squad, but Cameroon have a chance to respond here and finish on a high.
Rwanda meanwhile will be hoping Mozambique can do them a favour in the adjacent fixture, but they must first fulfil their side of the bargain and secure three points against Cameroon, or they will be eliminated. Just two points remains the difference between third and second, making this an absolute must win for the visitors, who are in danger of failing to qualify for a fourth successive tournament.
- Cameroon (vs Cape Verde): Ondoa; Mbaizo, Onguene, Bagnack, Ngah; Djoum, Malong, Onana; Tebekou, Ngamaleu; Aboubakar.
- Rwanda (vs Mozambique): Mvuyekure; Nirisarike, Manzi, Mutsinzi; Omborenga, Rubanguka, Mukunzi, Imanishimwe; Niyonzima, Kagere, Sugira.
A unanimous decision was made by Ligue 1 clubs to block the release of African players for this month’s qualifiers, so Cameroon have had to conclude their qualification campaign without a number of key members, including Lyon forward Karl Toko Ekambi, Saint-Etienne centre-back Harold Moukoudi and Montpellier left-back Ambroise Oyongo. The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) released a statement confirming the decision.
“At the initiative of the presidents of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 colleges, a consultation was carried out on Wednesday March 17 with all club presidents concerning players outside the France A team likely to participate in a match outside of France, the EU/EEA zone during the next international period in March,” the statement read.
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Player to watch: Vincent Aboubakar (Besiktas)
With the likes of Ekambi and Stephane Bahoken unavailable for selection, Cameroon will be relying on a familiar face to spearhead the attack and produce the goods on Tuesday night. Vincent Aboubakar is approaching 70 caps in a Cameroon jersey and he will be desperate to find the target in midweek to close in on goalscoring legends of the nation. With 23 goals to his name, the Besiktas marksman ranks fifth in the overall scoring charts for Cameroon, still some way off immortals Samuel Eto’o (56) and Roger Milla (43), but only three shy of Francois Omam-Biyik (26). The 29-year-old is a powerful centre-forward, capable of bullying defences with his back to goal, or playing on the shoulder and running in behind. Such attacking versatility will present problems to Rwanda, but three clean sheets in their last three games proves The Wasps have the defensive know-how to remain firm, teeing this tie up nicely.
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