Switzerland vs Cameroon predictions: Swiss should have too much for Indomitable Lions
Murat Yakin leads Switzerland to the World Cup knowing that he has plenty to live up to after predecessor Vladimir Petkovic guided the Swiss to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, knocking world champions France out en route to that stage.
On that occasion, an excellent Spain side were only able to get the better of Switzerland on penalties after Petkovic’s side had been harshly reduced to 10 men for 45 minutes.
And they have maintained the habit of shocking champions under Yakin, with the Swiss beating Euro 2020 winners Italy to the top of Uefa World Cup Qualifying Group C – a surprise outcome that saw the Italians failing to reach Qatar.
Before they get around to stunning some more big names at this World Cup, Yakin’s men must first overcome a Cameroon side who are hard to judge on recent form.
Switzerland are at full strength in every position but there are slight concerns in goal.
Reserve goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo failed to make the squad with a knee problem and experienced first-choice stopper Yann Sommer recently missed a month of action with damaged ankle ligaments.
However, Sommer returned to action for Switzerland’s warm-up match against Ghana last week, with the entire Swiss squad available for that match.
Cameroon are one of the few nations in Qatar to have no players unavailable for selection and their only minor concern is key man Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. The Napoli midfielder is slightly short of full fitness but is sure to start, nonetheless.
Cameroon have lost each of their last seven World Cup matches, albeit they failed to qualify for the finals in 2006 and 2018.
Rigobert Song’s side also failed to win any of their final four warm-up matches since September, losing to South Korea and Uzbekistan and managing only 1-1 draws against Jamaica and Panama.
But the biggest disappointment in recent times was failure to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final on home soil, with the Indomitable Lions losing in the semi-finals. However, they only lost on penalties to a strong Egypt side.
As well as knocking France out of Euro 2020 and playing a significant role in eliminating Italy from World Cup qualifying, Switzerland beat Portugal, Spain and Czech Republic in their 2022 Uefa Nations League matches.
However, the Swiss have managed to keep clean sheets in only one of their last nine games in all competitions, losing 2-0 to Ghana in their final World Cup warm-up match.
Cameroon are a hard team to judge as they have made a lot of late additions to the squad by naturalising several players who are likely to start against Switzerland.
The likes of Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo, Swansea’s Olivier Ntcham and Georges-Kévin Nkoudou are among a raft of players to have recently switched allegiance to Cameroon, and while it gives Song a deeper squad to pick from, it means that they have not had time to gel as a unit.
There is plenty of quality in the squad – goalkeeper Andre Onana, Anguissa and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting have starred in the Champions League for Inter Milan, Napoli and Bayern Munich respectively – but recent results suggest they are still struggling to find cohesion.
Switzerland arguably do not have as many star names – albeit the likes of Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji, Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri are certainly excellent footballers – but they have a solid set of players who have been drilled into an effective unit over a period of years.
They should do enough to get over the line but Cameroon have the quality to make a game of it.