Tuesday 25 June: 6pm KO
Live on EuroSport
Cameroon are the current holders of the African Cup of Nations title. They begin their defence of the title with an opening group fixture against Guinea Bissau. Their opponents are ranked 118th in the world so it’s going to be one of the biggest shocks ever if they can win this match.
Cameroon are 14/1 (15.0) at BetVictor to become the first country since Egypt in 2010 to make a successful defence of their title. They are currently ranked 51st in the world which is just lower than the ranking they had a couple of years ago. A disappointing 2018 that saw them only win two out of ten games (five were drawn) saw them drop down to 56th but they are on the rise again now.
Qualifying for this tournament saw them finish second behind Morocco. They were six points clear of outsiders Malawi and Comoros. Away form in that group wasn’t impressive though with two draws against the third and fourth placed sides and defeat in Morocco. It’s a good job they won all their home games without conceding a goal.
They are in Group F with Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Benin. It’s Cameroon and Ghana who are fully expecting to dominate this group. The odds on Cameroon finishing top are 7/5 (2.4) if placing your wager with Betfair. Cameroon begin this group with a game against Guinea Bissau and they are the strong favourites to begin with a victory. It’s 8/13 (1.61) at Betway that they win this group opener.
Their current form has seen them unbeaten in their last four games. The last country to beat them were Brazil who got a 1-0 win against the Africans in November of last year. 2019 has yet to see them beaten with victories over Comoros, Zambia and an 11-0 thrashing of Alcorcon. Their most recent game was a 1-1 draw with Mali. There have been problems in the camp with protests over bonuses due to them but hopefully that won’t affect them on the pitch.
Guinea Bissau are 67 places below their opponents in the world rankings. That’s a drop from 68th just three years ago. This is only the second time that they have made it through to the finals of this tournament. The previous occasion was in 2017 and they ended up bottom of their group having earned just one point. More about that later in this preview.
They are 33/1 (34.0) at William Hill to win this group. That looks unlikely and their key aim will be to get a win over Benin and hopefully be one of the top third-placed teams. Qualification for this tournament came by winning Group K finishing ahead of Namibia and Mozambique. They so nearly missed out those because after an opening win, they only won one of their next five qualifiers. But for a 90th minute equalizer at home to Mozambique, they wouldn’t have qualified. It’s 6/1 (7.0) at Unibet that they win this opening game against Cameroon.
That poor form in the qualifying group illustrated the downturn in their world ranking. They have only won two of their last 15 internationals and none of their last three. Their most recent games have seen them draw with Namibia, Mozambique and lose to Angola. The odds on them drawing this match are 5/2 (3.5) at BoyleSports.
Guinea-Bissau took on Cameroon in the last African Cup of Nations tournament. Their group match saw Cameroon win 2-1 after trailing early on. Ladbrokes will give you odds of 12/1 (13.0) on Cameroon winning this game from behind. The two previous meetings between these countries both ended in a 1-0 victory for Cameroon. The odds of them beating Guinea-Bissau 1-0 on Tuesday are 9/2 (5.5) at Bet365.
There are no major injury problems reported. The good news for Cameroon is their key strikers are both fit. That includes PSG’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moling who has 15 international goals.
All has not been well in the Cameroon camp but hopefully they will put that behind them. They are a much stronger team than their opponents and have won their three previous meetings. A bet on Cameroon to win with over 1.5 goals scored has odds of 11/10 (2.1) at Paddy Power.