Switzerland and Cameroon square off at the World Cup in Qatar this morning as Group G officially gets underway.
Both will be hopeful of progressing from a tough group that also includes Brazil and Serbia. Murat Yakin’s Swiss side will be captained by Granit Xhaka and possesses plenty of international experience, with particular strength defensively.
Yann Sommer is set to be fit to start in goal after overcoming his ankle injury to give Yakin a timely boost ahead of the tournament.
Switzerland were beaten by Ghana last week in a warm-up fixture, with a back three utilised, though may return to a more familiar defensive four for their World Cup opener.
Denis Zakaria, seldom sighted during his loan at Chelsea this season, may find it tough to force his way into a competitive midfield, while Breel Embolo is likeliest to start up front as Switzerland seek a more consistent attacking output.
Cameroon, nicknamed the Indomitable Lions, prepared for the World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Panama last Friday.
Now back under the management of Rigobert Song, they arrive at this tournament with few major injury concerns, though there have been questions raised about possible interference from above in Song’s 26-player selection for the campaign.
Still, it looks a strong squad, with midfielder Andre-Frank Anguissa likely to play a key role after an excellent start to the season at Napoli.
Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo was a French youth international but opted to play for Cameroon, the country of his father, during the summer, and is competing for a spot in the forward line with plenty of options at Song’s disposal.
Predicted Switzerland XI (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Widmer, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo.
Predicted Cameroon XI (4-3-3): Onana; Ebosse, Castelletto, N’Koulou, Fai; Ntcham, Anguissa, Gouet; Mbeumo, Aboubakar, Choupo-Moting.