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Old June 19, 2010, 12:11 AM
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al-Sagar al-Sagar is offline
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Default Denmark vs Cameroon Preview

Cameroon crisis ahead of Denmark test

Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen slammed his side's attitude after their opening defeat to Japan, but some of the side's senior players have questioned the decision of the coach to play some of the young players in such a vital match. All is not well in the camp and, as Le Guen attempts to heal the divisions, Denmark arrive on the scene determined to press their claims for a spot in the next round.

In dire need of a win, both sides know that defeat here could end their World Cup campaigns, but Cameroon are in crisis as off-pitch criticism hinders their preparations and Denmark will view them as ripe for the picking.

The Danes were seen as favourites to come second in the group, but their opening defeat to the Dutch leaves them playing catch-up. They were exposed for a lack of creativity in midfield and something will have to change if they are to unlock the Cameroon defence, but a qualification campaign that saw off the likes of Portugal and Sweden proves they have the players to make an impact.

Cameroon player to watch: Alex Song.
The Arsenal midfielder was left on the bench for the first game and they missed his presence in the middle of the pitch. A real ball-winner, Song's influence calms the Cameroon side and, when they have the ball, they can rest assured that he will provide the defence with cover. A good passer as well, he distributes the ball well and his inclusion is likely to stiffen the resolve of the Indomitable Lions.

Denmark player to watch: Nicklas Bendtner. A striker who blows hot and cold for club and country, he does not lack self-belief but, after a poor showing against Netherlands, he will be pushed further into the spotlight. A tall and agile frontman, he certainly gets himself into good positions but sometimes lacks the composure and finishing touch that make for a top-class striker. He will be under pressure to perform, but will fancy facing up against a shaky Cameroon defence.

Key battle: Samuel Eto'o v Simon Kjaer. After some pre-tournament build-up that suggested Eto'o may not even make the finals, he was marked out of the first game against Japan and did not make the impact he would have hoped for. However, now he will get his chance to play through the middle and will find himself up against one of the best young defenders in the business. The Palermo man is seeking his big move and most of Europe's elite are tracking him. How he handles one of Europe's best strikers could impact on where he ends up.

Trivia: Rigobert Song has racked up 135 caps with Cameroon. A defender now playing in the Turkish leagues, Song has the dubious distinction of being the youngest player ever sent off in the World Cup, aged 17.

Stats: Cameroon have won just one of their last 11 matches at World Cup finals, and have lost the last two without scoring. Denmark have always qualified for the knockout stages in their previous World Cup participations (1986, 1998 and 2002).

Odds: Ghana (2.87), Australia (2.50) and the draw (3.25) are all on offer at Bet 365, but a 2-1 win to Denmark will get you 10.00.

Prediction:
Both historical encounters between Cameroon and Denmark have ended 2-1 with each team winning once, so this one is too close to call. With Cameroon's issues off the pitch, 2-1 to Denmark looks a realistic outcome.
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