World Cup 2014 Preview: Eto'o once again leads Cameroon

 

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Since that time, Cameroon has exited at the group stage in its next four World Cup appearances, with Volker Finke's team trying to break that streak this summer.

In order for that to happen, Finke must rely on the scoring of his own veteran marksman, Samuel Eto'o.

The 32-year-old has been in and out of the team in recent years, announcing his retirement from the national team on more than one occasion. But if Cameroon is to pull off an upset and advance to the second round for the first time since 1990, Eto'o will have to be in good form.

After scoring nine goals in 21 league matches for Chelsea this past season, Eto'o will aim to continue his scoring form in his fourth World Cup and try to lead Cameroon out of a group that includes hosts Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.

Eto'o has netted three World Cup goals in his career, leaving him two short of Milla's record for the national team, and he may need to match that total if the team is going to finish in the top two in Group A.

Vincent Aboubakar and Pierre Webo will also be expected to share some of the scoring load, with Cameroon hoping to improve upon its offensive output at the 2010 World Cup which saw the team score only two goals en route to three defeats and a last-place finish in the group.

There is quality in the midfield with Alex Song, Stephane Mbia and Jean Makoun providing the heart of the team. The trio of Nicolas N'Koulou, Benoit Assou- Ekotto and Aurelien Chedjou must play at a high level in the Cameroon defense as well for the team to have a chance at advancing.

Cameroon won't be expected to get any points from its final game in the group stage against Brazil, which makes the first two matches against Mexico and Croatia vital.

There has been plenty of unrest in the Cameroon side recently, but the team must come together from the start to have a chance in Group A, and Mexico will provide the team's first test.

At least a point will be required from the match with El Tri before facing Croatia, which also figures to be in the running for second place.

Four points from those two games could be enough, but that won't be an easy task for a team that is probably considered to be the outsiders in the group.

Cameroon isn't the youngest team in Brazil, and fitness will be a factor for a side whose strikers are both 32 years old.

Getting out of the group would represent a huge accomplishment for Cameroon this summer, but that will only happen if Eto'o is able to find his scoring form.

If not, the team will likely once again be propping up the table and heading home after three games for the fifth successive time.

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