Germany vs Cameroon – Sunday 16:00BST/17:00CEST/18:00MSK – Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht, Sochi.
Joachim Löw has labelled this fixture as “one of the most challenging and physically intensive games” that his Mannschaft side could face. The World Champions face the dangerous ‘a point is enough’ scenario to progress to the final four—however, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions can jump from bottom place in the table to potential semi-finalists with a victory by two clear goals. With Löw also mentioning his opponents as “persistent and fast”, it is evident the German head coach is not taking the threat possessed by Hugo Broos’ side lightly.
World Cup winning head coach Joachim Löw used Saturday’s press conference to underline the significant threat he feels Cameroon bring to this final group game. “Cameroon have nothing left to lose, no other team in this tournament would want to face Cameroon one on one, ” he said. With the Indomitable Lions looking to go all out to win, Löw must be quietly confident that his talented midfield has the attributes required to enact Germany’s traditional quick transition. What Löw did identify in the pre-match press conference was Cameroon’s pace, and to counter this threat, he will look to AS Roma’s Antonio Rüdiger. The defender’s speed and strength is well known. Drawing with Chile in their previous fixture, the German’s now need to better their South American rivals score on Sunday to top the group. While second place will be enough for Germany to qualify for the semi-final, it would probably mean facing European Champions Portugal and not CONCACAF winners Mexico. If Germany are to go on and win the Confederations Cup they first must navigate this tricky fixture before facing one of either Portugal, Mexico or Chile in the Final.
With the Indomitable Lions routed to the bottom of Group B, they will be only too aware that not everything is lost. Should the Africa Cup of Nations champions beat Germany by two clear goals, they might just sneak into the final four. Head coach Hugo Broos will have to find someone within his squad who can fire the all-important two-goal ratio. After drawing 1:1 with Australia in their previous match, Broos lamented their missed opportunities “Cameroonian football is not rich in strikers at the moment. We’re searching, we’re searching, we’re searching, and we keep on searching, but you have to be able to find one. Someone who scores goals”. Cameroon won the Africa Cup of Nations in January, but crucially they only scored seven goals in the entire tournament. Defender Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui finished as Cameroon’s top scorer with just two goals. The Indomitable Lions have a talented squad but in football, goals win games—it seems that in Russia, Cameroon’s Achilles heel might just be the one thing that sees them miss out on the knockout stages.
Germany vs Cameroon – Players to look out for:
Lars Stindl #13 – Germany
Stindl had an outstanding season for club side Borussia Mönchengladbach. With 18 goals and nine assists across Borussia’s 44 matches last season, the Gladbach captain, and secondary striker is a genuine threat to any opposition team. With two goals in two games already, the 28-year-old has continued his consistent form at FIFA’s Confederation Cup. In addition to his goal scoring and creating ability, he brings with him strong leadership qualities – an essential attribute in what is very much a young German dressing room in Russia. On the whole, though, Die Mannschaft benefits from his ‘captain’s presence’ at their most forward point on the pitch. Should the World Champions have any dreams of capturing the 2017 Confederations Cup trophy, the goal scoring attributes of Lars Stindl will be key to their progression during the knock out stages.
Joseph Fabrice Ondoa #1 – Cameroon
The Sevilla goalkeeper gave a good indication of his potential during The Indomitable Lions fixture against Chile. It took La Roja’s star-studded squad 81 minutes to find their way past Ondoa. At times his Cameroon side looked to be just holding on, but with the 21-year-old in goal, it added an extra hurdle in Chile’s way. Having played four times last season, while on loan at La Liga 2 side Gimnàstic de Tarragona, the future for this bright Cameroon talent looks one to monitor closely. Standing at just over six foot (185cms), he may not be the tallest of goalkeepers – however, his mobility is what first drew the attention of Sevilla. Ondoa will be the very last line of resistance against a German team that boasts major attacking talent throughout – this final group game fixture may be the biggest test the Cameroonian has faced in his fledgeling career.
Germany vs Cameroon – Match Stats
- The two sides have only faced each other three times in total – GER W2, D1 L0
- Over those three games, Cameroon have conceded seven, scoring only twice
- Their first meeting came in the 2002 World Cup – Germany winning 0:2 in Shizuoka
- Germany can advance to the Semi Final with a solitary point in this fixture
- Cameroon are bottom of Group B and must win, to stand any chance of making the final 4
Prediction: Germany vs Cameroon – 2:0
Ter Stegen; Rüdiger, Mustafi, Süle; Hector, Draxler Rudy, Goretzka, Brandt; Werner, Stindl
Coach: Joachim Löw
Ondoa; Mabouka, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Teikeu, Fai; Djoum, Siani; Bassogog, Moukandjo, Anguissa; Aboubakar
Coach: Hugo Broos
Chris Williams is a freelance European football journalist. Covering the Bundesliga, Premier League and both of UEFA’s European club competitions — he can be found somewhere between the Kop and Yellow Wall. Published in both local and international publications, such as the Liverpool Echo and Sport Bild, he also contributes to television and radio across the United Kingdom. A member of the UK’s Sports Journalist Association and the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) he lives and breathes football. Follow Chris Williams on Twitter @Chris78Williams