Host nation Brazil take on Cameroon in their final Group A game at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia on Tuesday, June 24, from 6am (AEST).
For Brazil another win should ensure they finish top of the group and progress to play either Netherlands or Chile in the knockout stages starting on Sunday morning Australian time. They should triumph over the winless and goalless Cameroon who have failed to fire at this tournament. But as the World Cup has shown so often, an upset is not out of the question.
The big issue
The big issue is whether Cameroon has the motivation within to finish strongly after their campaign was brought to an abrupt conclusion by a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of a fired up Croatian outfit.
They were also gallant in defeat against Mexico in the heavy rain of Natal, but were fortunate the offside flag limited the heartache to just one goal. To beat Brazil they need to buck their trend and get on the scoresheet early and often.
The game breaker
Hulk looks set to return to the Brazilian team and if he lives up to the hype could put the issue beyond doubt. The team is under immense pressure and despite being unbeaten, look vulnerable and are giving their knockout stage opponents (whoever that maybe) plenty of hope. Mexico was able to shut down their forward line on the back of a goalkeeping master class delivered by Guillermo Ochoa.
For Cameroon it is now or never for veteran striker and Captain Samuel Eto’o. He certainly needs to take charge and lead with his boot and not his mouth. This game will mark his swansong from the World Cup and his tiring legs certainly aren’t what they used to be this time around. All interest will be on whether he can add to his tally of 56 goals from 118 appearances for his beloved Indomitable Lions.
It is simply too hard to go past the class and power of the Brazil team in this one. If they can finally start with a bang then beware Cameroon.
The Selecao has so much more to play for and the squad will be looking to sharpen their form as they move into the pressure-filled business end of the World Cup. Cameroon could be lucky enough to snatch a goal if Brazil switch off.
Judging by the high rate of goals being scored in the group stage, this game should be no exception so a 3-1 score line in favour of Brazil seems accurate but maybe conservative.