Mexican football expert Jonny Rico Aviles goes head to head with Cameroon's Nathan Quao
Jonny Aviles on Mexico: Manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera on Thursday announced in a press conference the starting lineup for the match. The intense and controversial goalkeeping battle was finally won by Guillermo Ochoa - who has just finished his contract with Ligue 1’s Ajaccio - and will keep goal ahead of Jesus Corona. Ahead of Ochoa, Mexico will line up in a 5-3-2 system with a Paul Aguilar, Francisco Javier Rodriguez, Rafael Márquez, Héctor Moreno, Miguel Layun, Jose Juan Vazquez, Hector Herrera, Andrés Guardado, Giovani Dos Santos, and Oribe Peralta. The big absence from the starting eleven is Manchesterited striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez; who did not have the best of seasons under former manager David Moyes. But the Little Pea can make an impact from the bench.
Nathan Quao on Cameroon: Influential midfielder Jean Makoun is on his way back from injury, but his recovery has come too late for a place in the starting eleven tonight, according to boss Volke Finker.Other than that, they have no major injury concerns. Makoun is likely to be replaced by Antalyspor's Eyong Enoh in midfield, alongside Alex Song and Stephane Mbia. The rest of the team picks itself with Samuel Eto'o leading the line upfront in his fourth World Cup. Probable starting line up: Itandje; Nyom, N'Koulou, Matip, Bedimo;Eyong, Mbia, Song; Choupo-Moting, Eto'o, Aboubakar.
Jonny Aviles on Mexico: Mexico comes into the tournament following two 1-0 losses to Bosnia and Portugal in preparation matches. But the team is still looking much better than the 2013 version of this team. All of last year Mexico struggled to beat inferior teams and then manager Jose Manuel de la Torre was fired. Two other managers came ansd went in quick succession before the federation finally hired Miguel Herrera, who has galvanised the side and brought in a fresh system of play. Mexico’s biggest weakness at the moment is defending set pieces - their lack of height means they'll be at a disadvantage against Cameroon in these situations.
Nathan Quao on Cameroon: The Indomitable Lions have been rather tame since they put Tunisia to bed in the African play-off for the World Cup. In five friendlies played in 2014, they've recorded two wins over Macedonia and Moldova. They did get a creditable 2-2 draw with Germany, but lost 2-0 to Paraguay and destroyed by Portugal 5-1. They scored three times but they let in nine and those are not pleasing numbers especially as they will face potent attacks of Brazil, Croatia and even Mexico. Captain, leader and goal scorer supreme Eto'o did not score in any of those games, but his reputation as the man for the big stage is what fans are clinging onto ahead of this match.
WHAT THE MANAGER SAYS:
Miguel Herrera for Mexico: “If you don’t come to win the World Cup, then why are we here?”
Volke Finke for Cameroon: "What do I know of Mexico?. Well, what I know will be kept to me. I will share it with the players and we will use that information to help us prepare."
Jonny Aviles on Mexico: The key man for Mexico will be Giovani Dos Santos. He is the standout talent, who can conjure a piece of magic at any given moment. Giovani has a tendency to drift to wide positions or drop deep looking for the ball, but he will have to be careful to not leave Peralta too isolated up top.
Nathan Quao on Cameroon: Four-time African Footballer of the Year, Samuel Eto'o, will carry the hopes of a nation seeking to make an impact on the global stage once more. Eto'o played a key role in the team's journey to Brazil and he is well aware of the side's reliance on him both as a goal scorer and team captain. Every thing positive for Cameroon in Brazil will come from Eto'o.
Jonny Aviles on Mexico: This will be goalie Guillermo Ochoa's third World Cup, but his first appearance. Back the veteran stopper to keep a clean sheet against an out of sorts Cameroon at 2.25
Nathan Quao on Cameroon: The Lions' record in the pre-tournament friendlies points to the fact that they leak goals, and against Mexico, that could happen especially as the Central Americans have some quick and crafty forwards. But I also back my country to threaten from set plays, so both teams to score at 2.05 is my best bet.
Jonny Aviles: Mexico 2-0 Cameroon at odds of 9.50
Nathan Quao: Mexico 1-1 Cameroon at odds of 5.75
Bet on Mexico v Cameroon now.