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Afcon Group A Preview: Can Cameroon win gold on home soil?

Afcon Group A Preview: Can Cameroon win gold on home soil?

After so much speculation about the tournament due to the COVID omicron variant, it’s all systems go for the greatest showpiece on the continent.

We begin proceedings with matches in Group A as Cameroon tackle Burkina Faso in a 7pm kick off while Cape Verde square off with Ethiopia at 10pm.

Cameroon vs Burkina Faso ( Sunday 9 January, 2022) – 7:00 pm EAT

Cameroon are definitely among the favorites to lift the trophy at the end of the competition but certainly they have a huge task in Group A.

The Indomitable Lions open off the much anticipated TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations on home soil at the Stade Omnisport Paul Biya, Olembé  in Yaounde when they tackle Burkina Faso.

The five times African Champions have named a powerful squad to defend their domestic honour. Head coach António Conceiçao revealed a 28-man squad for the assignment.

Defender Michael Ngadeu, who scored two goals during the 2017 AFCON triumph in Gabon, leads the ten defenders drafted. TotalEnergies AFCON 2021 will be the first for Ligue 1 trio Jean-Charles Castelleto (FC Nantes), Enzo Ebosse (SCO Angers) and Harold Moukoudi (Saint Etienne).

Cameroon have a potent strike force with Christian Bassogog of Shanghai Shenua, Bayern Munich’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Toko-Ekambi of Olympique Lyon and Vincent Aboubakar from Saudi Arabia Club Al Nasr.

Burkina Faso are not easy customers as they have proved a tough nut to crack on any given day.

The Stallions have made 12 appearances at the Nations Cup which makes them regular campaigners and have the necessary experience for such a tournament. Their best performance was in 2013 in South Africa where they narrowly lost to Nigeria in the Final.

The Stallions head coach Kamou Malo announced his list for the tournament on Wednesday afternoon.

Notably missing from the squad is Lassina Frank Traore who is currently an injury which has ruled him out of the rest of the 2021-22 football season.

Bryan Dabo who was key for Burkina Faso during the World Cup qualifiers is also excluded from the squad due to an injury.

Bertrand Traore of Aston Villa who has recovered from a thigh injury he sustained in October whilst on international duty is among the selected players for the AFCON.

Another returnee from injury who made the Stallions is Standard Liege attacker Abdoul Fessal Tapsoba. The 20-year-old missed the last round of matches in the World Cup qualifications in November.

Ethiopia vs Cape Verde (Sunday 9 January, 2022) 10:00 pm EAT

Cape Verde are a team that can cause upset in the Group. They equally have great players who can hurt any team at the tournament.

The Blue Sharks are appearing at their third finals after reaching the quarter-finals on their debut in 2013 and playing again two years later.

Reserve goalkeeper Keven Ramos, who plays for Mindelese, is the only member of the squad who represents a club in Cape Verde.

The European based players headline a strong Blue Sharks’ squad that will be competing for honours in Cameroon

Coach Bubista announced his final 26-man Cape Verde squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with high-profile inclusions like Vozinha, Stopira, and Steven Fortes.

Ethiopia have named a side predominantly made up of local players.

Forward Getaneh Kebede will captain the east Africans, with El Gouna’s Shemeles Bekele and Mujib Kassim (JS Kabylie, Algeria) the only two players who ply their trade outside of Ethiopia.

The Walia Ibex, who won the Nations Cup in 1962, have qualified for the tournament for the first time wince 2013.

 GROUP A – MATCH DAY ONE FIXTURES

Sunday, 9 January, 2022

Cameroon vs Burkina Faso – 6:00 pm EAT  (Stade Omnisport Paul Biya, Olembé)

Ethiopia vs Cape – 10:00 pm EAT (Stade Omnisport Paul Biya, Olembé)

 

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