Neither Cameroon nor Denmark can claim to have started their 2010 FIFA World Cup™ campaign the way they would have dreamt, with both pointless after opening game defeats by Japan and the Netherlands respectively. Consequently, this game assumes huge importance for two sides who realistically need a win if they are to keep their hopes of making the last 16 alive.
Defeat by the Netherlands on Monday means that Denmark have now lost their last three games and, perhaps more worryingly, have failed to score in any of those defeats. Injuries have undoubtedly played their part, punctuating the Danes' build-up to this tournament, with star striker Niklas Bendtner and Jon Dahl Tomasson high-profile victims of the curse. With Tomasson and Daniel Jensen sidelined, Bendtner – still not 100 per cent fit after a lengthy battle with a groin problem – was called upon to lead the line against the Dutch. Truth is, Morten Olsen's side could have no real complaints about the end result, as they failed to get going after the setback of a freak own goal from Daniel Agger just a minute after the break.
Cameroon, too, will be looking to cancel out an opening game defeat with a less nervy performance than that which saw them beaten 1-0 by Japan - a display that sparked much criticism in the nation's media. The 4-3-3 formation employed by coach Paul Le Guen in Bloemfontein was adventurous, but his side struggled to fashion any real opportunities or break down the Blue Samaurai's resolute defence. Stephane Mbia did clatter the bar in the closing stages but it was a tough afternoon all round for Cameroon and their star man Samuel Eto'o, with Le Guen bemoaning the fact his side were below their best.
Players to watch
Samuel Eto'o v Daniel Agger
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger's tournament did not begin in the way he would have hoped - credited with the own goal that put the Netherlands on the road to victory at Soccer City on Monday. However, the fact that the Anfield club was prepared to break their transfer record for a defender when signing him in 2006 shows he is a player of great quality. He will certainly have to be on his game if he is to keep Cameroon captain Samuel Eto'o at bay. The Inter Milan striker had a quiet first half in the opening game against Japan – tightly marked at every turn - but he showed glimpses of brilliance after the break when he escaped the attentions of three blue shirts before teeing up his team-mate, Eric Choupo Moting, for a shot which flashed wide. Just one shot on target is not the statistic Eto'o would have hoped for, while Agger will be happy if he can restrict him to the same on Saturday.
8 – Denmark are currently on a run of eight matches without a red card in the FIFA World Cup™.
What they say
“We had a lot of chances in the second half but not so many in the first but we dominated. Now we have to work. We can't make any more errors and now we have to win against Denmark," Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon captain.
“Sure, we had a couple of unlucky bounces for the Dutch goals, but instead of complaining about that we should be looking at what we did wrong. For the first goal, the header is a mistake, plain and simple, and on the second we would need to look at how the player [Eljero Elia] has got in behind on the inside of our full-back. It’s more important for us to fix mistakes like that than ask for better luck against Cameroon,” Thomas Sorensen, Denmark goalkeeper
Voice of the fans
“Both these teams are on a losing streak. The Japanese were lucky to pull by Cameroon, with a heroic save at the end, and the Danish faced the 3rd best in the world against the Dutch. I'm looking forward to this one. 2-2 is my prediction,” patriot_5, FIFA.com user.
Denmark have an unbeaten record against African opposition in the FIFA World Cup, having drawn with Senegal and South Africa, and beaten Nigeria. Will they extend that record against Cameroon?