The Indomitable Lions, still smarting from their failure to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, have a squad well capable of making up for that disappointment. If they live up to their billing, they should make light work of their three group rivals though Otto Pfister's men are not on top form and have recently lost ground in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - currently lying back in 24 th position. The three minnows sharing the Lions' pool have never qualified for the final phase of a FIFA World Cup and this will be only the second time that Cape Verde Islands have participated in the qualifying competition.

The favourites
Cameroon: Having battled through to the last eight of the FIFA World Cup in 1990, Cameroon are the hot favourites to qualify for their sixth finals. Their star-studded squad features the likes of world-class forward Samuel Eto'o and a host of talented expatriates plying their trade in Europe's top clubs. With a little application, the four-time continental champions should sweep all before them.

The outsiders
Tanzania: Unless they can topple the mighty Cameroon and qualify in first place, Tanzania will be aiming to clinch one of the eight best runners-up spots. To achieve this they must build up points against their two other opponents, although this may be easier said than done judging by their meagre 2-1 win over Mauritius in a friendly match on 26 June 2006.

Mauritius: A tiny footballing nation which is making big strides, as shown by the side's narrow 2-0 defeat against South Africa in May.

Cape VerdeIslands: Perhaps one of the surprises of these qualifiers, the islanders have secured some impressive results in the last few years and are beginning to find that all-important consistency. Their most creditable recent results include a 2-0 win over Guinea and a 2-2 draw with Algeria, both on home soil.

The players to watch
Samuel Eto'o (CMR), Carlos Kameni (CMR), Eric Djemba Djemba (CMR), Achille Emana (CMR), Pius Ndiefi (CMR), Achille Webo (CMR).

The crunch match
Tanzania - Cameroon: In their bid to challenge the supremacy of the Indomitable Lions, Tanzania are aiming to make the most of their solidity at home where they are unbeaten in six matches, having notched up four victories and two draws including a commendable 1-1 draw with Angola.

A look back
Tanzania - Mauritius, 0-1, 1 July 2000 : In this preliminary qualifier for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2002, the islanders created a sensation by winning 1-0 away in Dar es Salam, before confirming their qualification two weeks later at home.

Did you know?
Cameroon have never previously met any of their three group opponents in any official competition or qualifying tournament.

The stat
5: the number of FIFA World Cups that Cameroon have participated in, a record among African nations.

The question
Will Cameroon miss out on a second successive FIFA World Cup finals? Click on "Add your comment" and have your say.