Rigobert Song is back as Cameroon manager and he will be aiming to guide his country to World Cup glory in Qatar.
This article was originally published on 21 September 2022
The Indomitable Lions are back for the eighth time at the World Cup after beating Algeria in the play-offs and they have perhaps fallen under the radar, as they prepare to feature in the major tournament for the first time since 2014.
Although they don't boast a squad as strong as the likes of France, Argentina and the other leading candidates, Cameroon could prove to be a shock package at odds of 200/1.
|When:||20th November - 18th December 2022|
|How to watch:||All matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV|
|Odds:||Brazil 9/2, England 11/2, France 6/1, Argentina 7/1, Spain 8/1|
Cameroon manager Rigobert Song named his final 26-man squad for the Qatar World Cup on November 9:
Cameroon are set to make their eighth appearance at the tournament, the most of any African side. Having previously missed out on the last competition in Russia, Song's men will be hoping to make a big impression following a positive run at AFCON 2021, as the Lions reached the semi-finals.
Group-stage exits have been suffered in 1982, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014, so this record is sparking by any means, but Cameroon did take the world by storm when reaching the quarter-finals in 1990 - the nation's best ever finish.
|Group stage||1982, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014|
The Lions went into the qualifiers with an abundance of confidence after finishing third in AFCON 2021, after they beat Burkina Faso 5-3 on penalties after a dramatic 90 minutes, which resulted in a 3-3 draw.
Cameroon won five of their six group stage games in qualifying to top the table with a two-point cushion over Ivory Coast in second and book their spot in the CAF third round.
It was here the Lions overcame Algeria to book their place in Qatar after Lyon's Karl Toko Ekambi struck a 124th-minute winner to clinch the play-off tie in sensational fashion, going through on the away goals rules.
Cameroon have been drawn in Group G alongside Serbia, Switzerland and Brazil, who hold the record for the most World Cup's won with an impressive five.
The Indomitable Lions open their campaign against the Swiss, taking place on 24th November, while their final group clash is the 2nd December contest with Brazil.
The runner up of Group G will face off against the winner of Group H in the last 16, which is anticipated to be Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.
The Swiss are 1/1 to qualify from the group, but Cameroon (12/5) could dent their hopes of success as they too are aiming to reach the last 16.
In March 2022, Rigobert Song took over from Toni Conceicao, in what is his second stint as Cameroon manager.
Song oversaw the national set-up between 2016-2018, partly as a caretaker manager, before being succeeded by the legendary Clarence Seedorf.
He re-took his country's management role earlier this year and is aiming to guide Cameroon to success.
The 46-year-old made over 400 appearances in his playing career at various European clubs, such as Liverpool, West Ham, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor, where he retired.
He enjoyed a successful career, winning numerous silverwares, including the UEFA Cup in 2001, and twice winning AFCON with Cameroon in 2000 and 2002.
Cameroon has many talented players amongst their ranks but, perhaps, one of the more notable is Vincent Aboubakar, who lit up the recent AFCON tournament as he finished as the competition's top scorer with eight goals.
The powerful forward has an abundance of experience and has a real eye for goal, having previously scored 14 times in 22 Champions League games during his time at Porto and Besiktas.
Aboubakar now plays for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr Riad, but he has not lost his prolific presence in front of goal.
Other contenders include Lyon's Ekambi, who has scored 11 goals in 49 games for his country, while goalkeeper Andre Onana could prove to be a crucial piece to Song's side.
Defensive midfielder Jean Onana, 22, is a young talent to keep an eye on. The midfielder has enjoyed a spell at Lille and is now playing for Bordeaux in the French Ligue 1.
Standing at 6ft 2in, Onana is a brute of a midfielder and excels at reading the game to break up opposition attacks. He is an intelligent, young, physical asset who will aim to make a name for himself in Qatar.
Cameroon's predicted line-up (4-4-2): Andre Onana; Collins Fai, Jean-Charles Castelletto, Michel Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Ambrose Oyongo; Martin Hongla, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Samuel Gouet, Karl Toko Ekambi; Eric Choupo-Moting, Vincent Aboubakar.
The Indomitable Lions will look to feed the likes of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Aboubakar and Ekambi, who will be looking to use their pace and power to get at opposing defences.
Cameroon aren't expected to go far but they have shown their quality to reach Qatar and the 12/5 to get past the group stage could be worth looking into.
The strong run at AFCON 2021 highlighted the strength in the squad and it would be silly to write off a nation that will be excited to be back at the World Cup.