Cameroon’s preparations for the 2014 Fifa World Cup will move up a gear when they face Portugal in an international friendly at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Wednesday night.
The Indomitable Lions secured a passage to the finals in Brazil with a 4-1 aggregate playoff win over Tunisia last year and must now prepare for a tough Group A in which they will face hosts Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.
The West Africans fancy their chances of progressing to the knockout phase, something they have failed to achieve in three World Cup appearances since they reached the quarterfinals of Italy 1990.
Coach Volker Finke has selected a strong squad for the match against Portugal which includes leading players such as Samuel Eto’o, Alex Song and Jean Makoun. Stephane Mbia and Pierre Webo are sidelined due to injury, while youngsters such as Frank Bagnack and Jean Dongou have been given the chance to impress.
Portugal coach Paulo Bento sprang several surprises in his selection for the match, including two uncapped youngsters, plus five players who did not take part in the World Cup qualifiers, as well as dropping first choice goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
“This is the moment to have a look at the players who have not been playing for the team and it’s the last chance we can do this before the final (World Cup) callup,” Bento told reporters.
The squad is still a strong one and contains Real Madrid trio Fabio Coentrao, Pepe and reigning World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.
The teams have met in just one previous friendly international, a warm-up match ahead of the last World Cup that was won 3-1 by Portugal.
Cristiano Ronaldo at the Nightclub Urban in Lisbon yesterday:[fbphotos id=721752434526354]