FIFA World Cup 2019 Preview: England -v- Cameroon

Sun, Jun 23 2019

ENGLAND

England will hope to book a place in the World Cup quarter-finals for just the second time when they take on Cameroon in Valenciennes on Sunday evening (kick-off 4.30pm Irish time).

The Lionesses arrive into the game with a 100% record having seen off Scotland, Argentina and Japan in their three group games to top Group D.

A quarter-final against Norway awaits the winner after the 1995 World Cup winners saw off Australia in a penalty shoot-out in Nice on Saturday night.

“The African teams are unpredictable and unorthodox," assistant coach Bev Priestman told the English FA’s media team.

“With Japan you knew exactly what you were going to get in terms of their structure. With an African team, they’re athletic [with] a lot of direct play and second-phase [football].

“It will be a totally different test to what we’ve faced [so far]. We’ve got to be prepared to take on that physical battle, but when we have the ball really, really punish them.

“We talk about taking it one game at a time and with every game you get more and more belief.

“We’re quite unique with the depth we’ve got. We don’t have to play a [certain] starting 11 every single game.

“We put the right players out for the right game. That’s our X factor and I think it will stand us in good stead moving forward.

 “If we’d have sat down six months ago and said we were going to top the group and do what we’ve done I think we’d have been really happy.

“In tournaments, teams grow and they get better and better each game. That Japan test was massive for us going into the next round.

“Overall we’re really happy. It’s not been perfect – you’ll never get the perfect game of football – but the girls have delivered. That’s the main thing.”

England have no major injury concerns ahead of the game, with Millie Bright having returned to action against Japan having limped out of the opening day win over Scotland.

CAMEROON

Cameroon arrived in Valenciennes with something of a free shot against an England side many fancy to win the tournament outright.

The Indomitable Lionesses sealed passage to the last 16 in dramatic circumstances as Ajara Nchout’s goal deep into injury time sealed a win over New Zealand on Thursday.

That goal – Nchout’s second of the game – and the three points gained there were enough to secure Cameroon one of the four qualification spots for the best third-placed teams.

Manager Alain Djeumfa was on the coaching staff four years ago when Cameroon competed in the World Cup for the first time and reached the last 16.

"We're entering a very important phase in this competition. Often these knockout games come down to small details,” Djeumfa told FIFA’s official website.

"I know my players call me 'Mean dog' because it's true that I'm strict with them. But above all I'm strict with myself.

“We're now through to the round of 16 against England, a nation firmly established in the elite of world football and an opponent whose strengths need no introduction.

“My role is to make sure the girls stay focused before the game and to prepare them in the best way possible for the challenge, because it won't be easy.

“That's why I don't let anyone ease off."

Djeumfa has a full squad to choose from however several players, including Raissa Feudjio and Gaelle Enganamouit, are on yellow cards heading into the game.

Referee: Qin Liang (China).

MATCH STATS

England come into the game firm favourites after winning all three of their qualifying games against Scotland, Argentina and Japan, conceding just one goal.

Cameroon sealed qualification in the fifth minute of injury time against New Zealand, having lost their opening games against Canada and the Netherlands.

BETTING

England 1/8; Draw 7/1; Cameroon 19/1.

PREDICTION

England 2 – 1 Cameroon

England

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Cameroon

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.