Brazil somewhat surprisingly dropped two points against Mexico in its last outing as coach Luiz Felipe Scolari went for a slightly more cautious approach than in the opener against Croatia, with Ramires taking the place of Hulk on the right wing after the Zenit man was deemed not fit enough to start. The Ramires experiment was not as successful as Scolari would have hoped, however, and Bernard or Hulk is expected to start in the Selecao’s final group game.
Two other players who have come in for criticism in the past few days following some under whelming performances are midfielder Paulinho and striker Fred, with Hernanes and Jo waiting for their chances. Nevertheless, Scolari has proven to be fairly loyal toward his players in his second spell as Brazil boss and he is unlikely to sacrifice one of the two ahead of the match versus Cameroon.
Cameroon coach Volker Finke, meanwhile, will have some serious selection headaches after two disastrous performances against Mexico and Croatia. The Indomitable Lions will be without the suspended Alex Song following his red card in the loss versus Croatia, with Jean Il Makoun possibly taking his place in midfield.
Furthermore, Finke is expected to leave out Benoit Assou-Ekotto following his on-pitch attack on teammate Ben Moukandjo, and Henri Bedimo is likely to take his place at left back. Up front, Cameroon will be hopeful that star striker Samuel Eto’o returns to the fold after missing their disastrous defeat versus Croatia due to injury. Whether the experienced striker makes it remains to be seen, but Finke is hopeful his star player will be available again.
Cameroon won the last meeting involving these sides, running out 1-0 victors when Samuel Eto’o scored a late winner during the 2003 Confederations Cup.
That game was the first time Brazil had lost to Cameroon; their record stands at three wins and just one defeat.
Cameroon have only ever scored one goal against Brazil across those four previous fixtures.
Brazil won the only previous fixture between these sides in a FIFA World Cup; 3-0 in San Francisco during the Group Stages of the 1994 tournament.
Brazil’s third group game against Cameroon will be their 100th at World Cup; they are the second team to reach that tally in the competition (Germany leads with 101 games).
Cameroon have hit 30 shots in this World Cup but only three of them have been on target.
Cameroon have kept only one clean sheet in their last 18 World Cup games.
No team has lost seven World Cup games in a row since Mexico in the 1950s (nine games).
Brazil haven’t failed to top their World Cup group since the last tournament in South America (Argentina 1978).
Brazil have hit 14 shots without scoring (since Oscar’s goal v Croatia) at the World Cup