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Hosts Cameroon are set to open the 2022 African Cup of Nations with the fixture against Burkina Faso in Group A.
The Cameroonians enter the competition as one of the main favorites to go all the way on home soil.
They have had a successful World Cup qualifying campaign with five wins and one defeat in the final phase of the competition.
The team led by Portuguese manager Toni topped Group D ahead of Ivory Coast. They have scored 12 and conceded only 3 goals in 6 outings in the process.
With Ajax’s keeper Andre Onana between the sticks, Cameroon will rely on defense hoping to make a deep run in this African Cup of Nations.
The job at the opposite end should mainly be done by Bayern Munich’s striker Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting, while Fulham’s midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa will also play a vital part at the center of the park.
Burkina Faso missed out on the previous Cup of Nations edition after surprisingly clinching the third spot in the 2017 competition.
That was even not the team’s best AFCON result in the last decade as Burkina Faso managed to reach the final back in the 2013 campaign.
Burkina Faso also had a strong campaign in the recently finished World Cup qualifications as they pushed the likes of Algeria to the end.
Kamou Malo’s squad came second in their respective WC qualifying group with a two-point deficit to winners Algeria.
As competition hosts, the Indomitable Lions will be hard-pressed to start the campaign on a high note with a win.
It is five years since they lifted their last Afcon title and now they are back to claim a sixth one having also previously won the 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2002 editions.
They will come up against Burkina Faso who have never won the tournament, but boast of finishing as runners-up in 2013 as their best Afcon outing as well as the 2017 bronze medal.
Having hosted the competition in 1972, Cameroon are back to stage the tournament again 50 years down the line and they are keen to win it at home after they settled for third position when they played as the hosts.
|Game||Cameroon vs Burkina Faso|
|Date||Sunday, January 9|
|Time||18:00 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
|DStv.com/DStv Now App https://www.showmax.com/eng/welcome/za||SuperSport TV’s PSL channel 202/SuperSport TV’s Variety 3 channel 208|
Squads & Team News
It is unclear whether Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao will field Bayern Munich forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting who injured his right knee at training on December 30, 2021.
But Choupo-Moting was pictured participating in full training on Saturday.
Four players Pierre Kunde Malong, Jean Efala Konguep, Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui and Christian Bassogog tested positive for Covid-19 on December 29 and have been in isolation since then.
Covid-19 ravaged the Burkinabe team on the eve of the Cameroon game in what could handicap them in Sunday’s match.
Coach Kamou Malo as well as five players and three other officials tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.
The players are Edmond Tapsoba, Oula Abass Traore, Soumaila Ouattara, Saidou Simpore and Aboubacar Dango.
Assistant coach Firmin Sanou will be on the bench in place of Malo and captain Bertrand Traore has slammed the situation as a “scandal” with Burkina Faso suspecting foul play.
While Cameroon are making their 20th appearance at the tournament, Burkina will be participating at the Afcon finals for the 12th time and are back after missing the last edition in Egypt.
Only Egypt (25), Ivory Coast (24) and Ghana (23) have taken part at in Afcon finals more than Cameroon.
Cameroon and Burkina Faso have previously met twice at the Afcon finals, both meetings being group games with the Indomitable Lions winning 1-0 in 1998, before a 1-1 draw in 2017.
Boosting the Indomitable Lion’s confidence apart from being hosts, is going into this match on the backdrop of four straight wins in their 2022 World Cup qualifiers, including beating Ivory Coast 1-0 in November.
Their opponents Burkina Faso have not tasted defeat in their last eight games, including an international friendly match 0-0 draw against Mauritania and a 3-0 victory over Gabon as they prepared for this tournament.
Cameroon vs Burkina Faso Head-to-head
- Cameroon and Burkina Faso played each other in the group stage of the 2017 African Cup of Nations when they shared spoils in a 1-1 draw.
- Only one of the last six head to head encounters between these two sides saw three or more goals scored.
- Three of these six clashes ended without a winner
CAF to allow five substitutions during AFCON tournament
AFCON 2021 kicks off on Sunday where teams will be allowed to make up to five substitutions, but must also play if they have 11 fit players.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that teams will be allowed to make up to five substitutions in games during the Africa Cup of Nations to help combat the impact of COVID-19 related absences.
Rules also state that teams must play if they have at least 11 players available, even if that does not include a recognised goalkeeper, or else will forfeit the game.
The tournament gets underway on Sunday when hosts Cameroon take on Burkina Faso.
A statement on the CAF website outlined the measures, confirming that: “Each team will be permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes.
“To reduce disruption to the match, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game; substitutions may also be made at half-time.
“If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.
“Unused substitutions and opportunities are carried forward into extra time.
“Where extra time is played, teams will each be allowed one additional substitution, and will have one additional substitution opportunity; substitutions may also be made before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time