Defending Africa Cup of Nations champions Cameroon will open their title-retention bid against Guinea Bissau is the opening match of Group F on June 25, 2019, at the Ismailia Stadium in Ismailia, Egypt.
The Indomitable Lions and the Djurtus are joined in their group by Ghana and Benin. After the opening round, the top two finishers in this group will advance to the knockout stage while the third placer will have an opportunity to move on as well if they are among the Top 4 third-place teams in the group stage.
The Group F winner will face the runner-up of Group E while the Group F runner-up will take on the runner up of Group B in the knockout round. If the third placer from this group will also make it, they will play the winner of Group D in the round of 16.
Cameroon is the reigning AFCON champions, defeating powerhouse Egypt in the 2017 final in Gabon. The victory was the fifth overall in this tournament for the Indomitable Lions and their first since winning back-to-back in 2000 and 2002. Cameroon qualified for the current tournament as the runner-up of Group B in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers.
Here is Cameroon’s squad for the 2019 AFCON:
- Goalkeepers: Carlos Kameni (Fenerbahce/TUR), Andre Onana (Ajax/NED), Fabrice Ondoa (Ostend/BEL)
- Defenders: Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo (Montpellier/FRA), Gaetan Bong (Brighton/ENG), Collins Fai (Standard Liege/BEL), Jean Armel Kana-Biyik (Kayserispor/TUR), Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui (Slavia Prague/CZE), Dawa Tchakonte (Mariupol/UKR), Banana Yaya (Panionios/GRE)
- Midfielders: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham/ENG), Arnaud Djoum (Hearts/SCO), Wilfrid Kaptoum (Betis Deportivo Balompie/ESP), Pierre Kunde Malong (Mainz/GER), Georges Mandjeck (Maccabi Haifa/ISR)
- Forwards: Stephane Bahoken (Angers/FRA), Christian Bassogog (Henan/CHN), Olivier Boumal (Panionos/GRE), Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (PSG/FRA), Karl Toko Ekambi (Villareal/ESP), Clinton Njie (Marseille/FRA), Joel Tagueu (Maritimo/POR), Jacques Zoua (Astra/ROM)
Odds from Titanbet.com as of 6/19/19
Guinea Bissau is making their second straight AFCON finals appearance and this is also only their second time overall to qualify for this tournament. The Djurtus did not enter the AFCON until 1994 and they either did not qualify, withdrew or did not enter again in the succeeding years and it only wasn’t until in 2017 when they got their first taste of the AFCON finals action.
This is Guinea Bissau’s 2019 AFCON line-up:
- Goalkeepers: Rui Dabo (Fabril/POR), Jonas Mendes (Academic Viseu/POR), Edimar Vieira Ca (UDIB)
- Defenders: Mamadu Cande (Santa Clara/POR), Tomas Dabo (Riete/ITA), Marcelo Djalo (Fulham/ENG), Nanu Gomes (Maritimo/POR), Rudnilson Silva (Kaunas Zal/LTU), Eliseu Soares (Rio Ave/POR), Juary Soares (Mafra/POR)
- Midfielders: Moreto Cassama (Reims/FRA), Judilson Gomes (Monaco/FRA), Joao Jaquite (Tondela/POR), Zezinho Lopes (Senica/SVK), Sori Mane (Cova Piedade/POR), Jorge Norgueira (Aves/POR)
- Forwards: Mama Balde (Aves/POR), Romario Balde (Academica Coimbra/POR), Jorginho Intima (CSKA/BUL), Joseph Mendes (Ajaccio/FRA), Frederic Mendy (Vitoria Setubal/POR), Piqueti Silva (Al Shoula/KSA), Toni Silva (Al Ittihad/EGY)
Guinea Bissau is the outsiders of Group F and are the soccer betting underdogs in this matchup. Not only is this tiny African nation making just their second appearance in the AFCON finals, but they also did so in one of the most dramatic fashions ever, by scoring a leveler in injury time to secure their entry to this tournament.
Mendy, Zezinho, Pele, and Joginho are some of the familiar names but the Djurtus squad is made up of unknowns but since only one of them plays domestically so these are players who have international experience.
Cameroon is expected to top Group F and go deeper in the tournament. However, they will have to do so for the first time without former captain Samuel Eto’o, who was a vital cog in their 2000 and 2002 title-winning squads. Cameroon though still have plenty of talent and experience including Karl Toto Ekambi of Villareal and young goalkeeper Andre Onana of Ajax.
With a strong midfield that protects well their backline and a goalkeeper in Onana, Cameroon’s defense is solid. But after scoring only six goals in the qualifiers, they need to be more creative on the attack if they are to repeat as champions. Against the new kids from Guinea Bissau though, they have more than enough to pick up their first win of the tournament. Prediction: Cameroon