Japan V Cameroon Preview: Monday, 14th June (Group E)

12th June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Previews & Predictions
World Cup Previews & Predictions

Japan V Cameroon

Kick-off: Monday, 14th June – 15:00 GMT
Stadium: Fee State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)
Group E

 

Japan

In 2002, on home soil, Japan recorded a personal best when they topped a remarkably easy Group H above Belgium, Russia and Tunisia. They were later sent packing by the first quality opposition they face, which just so happened to be an average Turkey, so to say Japan had it easy back then would be an understatement. Yet eight years later, in a country where the conditions probably won’t suit them, the minimum their coach expects of the team is to progress to the semi-finals. Cue simultaneous laughter.

Just weeks before one of the greatest and unqieu World Cup’s we are ever about to see, Takeshi Okada, the Japan coach, sent out a warning to his players by saying they must at least make the semi-finals. A team which has been woeful since the turn of the year and Okada reckons the semi-finals is a realistic aim, FIFA should start drug-testing the managers. We will stick our necks on the line and say Japan won’t even escape Group E, one of the more lightweight groups in the tournament.

Their results before the finals were pathetic, their displays have been dreadful while there hasn’t been a single bit of enthusiasm from the Japan camp during their warm up games. We’re struggling to find a legitimate reason as to how Japan will even win a game in South Africa let alone a couple which will see them progress into the last-four. Utterly ridiculous if you ask me and the worst thing of all is now the players will be under immense pressure to at least break out of Group E just so Okada’s bold targets don’t come across as a man deluded and off his head. And considering this Japan team has been under a fair amount of strain all year long and faltered in each and every one of their recent internationals, it doesn’t look particularly good for the crazy coach.

The Japanese arrive in Bloemfontein, South Africa, with four successive defeats lurking over them following losses to Ivory Coast, Serbia, England and, worst of all, South Korea. If ever there was a country on its knees it was this Japan team. To make matters worse, the only goal they score in four World Cup warm up games came via a defender against England, while they also drew 0-0 with Zimbabwe mere days before the finals kicked into life. It would take a miraculous turn around were Japan to turn up on Monday and walk away with all the spoils.  

 

Cameroon

Cameroon are one of five African nations vying to become the first team from the continent to win the FIFA World Cup, although it would be some achievement even if one of them was to make the semi-finals. So do Cameroon fit the bill? Can they beat the big guns on their day? Under the management of Paul Le Guen, Cameroon supporters may well think so after the former PSG and Lyon manager rescued the Indomitable Lions from the pits of despair in qualifying. Can he continue his miracle act by taking Cameroon deep into the tournament?

Paul Le Guen’s tenure at the Cameroon helm didn’t begin until July 2009, as Cameroon were seemingly a defeat away from seeing their dreams of playing in a sixth World Cup pass them by. Le Guen’s intervention proved a master-stroke however, with Cameroon winning all four of their remaining qualifiers under Le Guen and eventually finished qualifying four points clear of their nearest rival. Le Guen clearly inspired the Cameroon team and got them immediately back to winning ways, as well as restoring their winning mentality.

The Indomitable Lions weren’t exactly playing breathtaking football in the run up to South Africa, with two draws with Georgia and Slovakia followed by back-to-back defeats by Portugal and Serbia, so there is a lot of work for Le Guen to be getting on with; lifting morale for starters. Samuel Eto recently came in for some criticism from a Cameroon legend, Roger Milla, but perhaps Eto needed some home truths in order for him to raise his game and show more commitment when playing for his country. The latter was certainly true as Eto was sent off in his one and only international appearance before the finals, so perhaps Milla has given Eto the kick up the backside he needed.

We think it’s safe to say that Cameroon were nothing more than average during their World Cup warm games, barely getting out of gear one in most cases. But that really shouldn’t be the case now that the finals have finally come around and we’re expecting some hungry and determined Indomitable Lions to take to the field on Monday. If they show enough grit and determination through the team, as well as some clinical play up front, Cameroon really ought to win this encounter.

 

Match Odds:

Japan – 3.75 VCbet
Draw – 3.40 Coral
Cameroon – 2.15 BetFred

 

Match Verdict: Cameroon to WIN – 2.15 BetFred

Japan aren’t one of our favourite teams to watch, their form beforehand was terrible and the pressure piled onto the players from their manager is enormous. The Japanese team as a whole have come under immense criticism back home, especially after their 2-0 defeat on home soil to South Korea weeks before the finals, and Japan haven’t recovered since. They are severely low on confidence and while Cameroon appear the easiest game of the three for them, it will take some motivational pre-match team talk from Takeshi Okada to restore some self-belief into the Japan team.

While Cameroon haven’t been firing on all cylinders during their World Cup warm up games, they were impressive in the latter stages of qualifying and if Paul Le Guen can get his players to forget about their results before the tournament and concentrate on how well they played as a team during qualifying, Cameroon should win this. The pace of Pierre Webo and Samuel Eto in behind the Japan defence will cause them all sorts of problems, while Alex Song in midfield should provide adequate cover for the defence, a defence which will be marshalled be the vastly experienced Rigobert Song, who may be getting on but has tonnes of useful information and advice stored upstairs.

SoccerBetting Value Bet: Pierre Webo FGS – 7.50 SkyBet




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