Preview: Cameroon v Chile
Chile making Confederations Cup debut, Cameroon their third appearance
Keeper Claudio Bravo out with injury, a major blow for La Roja
Cameroon coach Hugo Broos confident of his side’s chances
It is a whole new experience for some and a return to familiar surroundings for others. After lifting their first major trophies with back-to-back Copa America wins, Chile are stepping out at the FIFA Confederations Cup for the first time, while Cameroon are taking part in their third edition and first since 2003. On this occasion, however, it is the less experienced side that will start out as favourites to collect the three points.
What you need to know With Germany looming large in their group, both sides could have been forgiven for thinking that they will be fighting it out for second place. The reigning world champions have left their star performers at home, however, which means Chile have been widely tipped to lift the trophy. Though Claudio Bravo’s absence through injury is a major blow to Roja hopes, they do have the players to back up that billing, with Eduardo Vargas back in among the goals and Alexis Sanchez is just one strike away from becoming Chile’s all-time leading goalscorer.
The Indomitable Lions* *are in a contrasting position, ranked as underdogs of whom little is expected. It is a situation not dissimilar to the one they found themselves in at the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, where Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Egypt and Ghana were the sides tipped to go all the way and a new-look Cameroon side were written off as no-hopers. Proving the pundits wrong, the Indomitable Lions promptly went and won a fifth continental crown and with it a place at Russia 2017.
FIFA.com team reporter analysis Pascal de Miramon, with Cameroon The second-youngest side in the competition after Germany, Cameroon will start out as second favourites against Chile’s seasoned hands. Though the 4-0 defeat to Colombia in their final warm-up match hardly augurs well for their chances against another South American outfit, the fact is that their Belgian coach Hugo Broos rotated his side for that match. Come Sunday, he will be lining up with the players that have served him so well in recent months.
Diego Zandrino, with Chile As reigning two-time Copa America champions, Chile are definite contenders for the title, a status they will look to confirm in their opening match against Cameroon. They will have to do so without team captain and key asset Claudio Bravo, who did not miss a match at the last two FIFA World Cup™ finals or the last four Copa America competitions. Despite his absence, La Roja look to have the resources to overcome any problems Cameroon may pose them on an individual and collective level.
Possible line-up Cameroon: Fabrice Ondoa; Collins Fai, Adolphe Teikeu, Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui, Jonathan Ngwem; Arnaud Djoum, Sebastien Siani; Jacques Zoua, Benjamin Moukandjo, Christian Bassogog, Vincent Aboubakar.
Chile: Johnny Herrera; Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara, Jean Beausejour; Arturo Vidal, Marcelo Diaz, Charles Aranguiz; Jose Fuenzalida, Eduardo Vargas, Alexis Sanchez.