Afcon 2017: Cameroon vs Burkina Faso Preview

The battle between Cameroon striker, Aboubaker (L) and Burkina Faso defender, Kone (R) is one to watch out for

Group A
Cameroon vs Burkina Faso
Stade de L’Amitie 10pm

The 2017 African cup of Nations gets underway this Saturday with two games in group A at Stade de L’Amitie in Libreville, Gabon.

Hosts Gabon take on Guinea Bissau who are playing at AFCON for the for first time in the opening game while Indomitable Lions of Cameroon face off with Burkina Faso.

Cameroon Team News

The world will wait to see how Cameroon performs following a massive spate of withdrawals by players.

Seven players on the initial 35-man provisional squad pulled out citing different reasons.

Liverpool defender Joel Matip, advice WestBrom’s Allan Nyom, this Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper Andre Onana, Andre Zambo Anguissa from Olympique Marseille, Guy Roland NdyAssembe of Nancy, Maxime Poundje of Bordeaux and Ibrahim Amadou from Lille all withdrew from the team.

It got worse when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting retired from international football. Hugo Bross, the Cameroon head coach comes to the tournament with a seemingly depleted side.

Burkina Faso News

Head coach Paul Duarte has maintained the core of the squad that reached the finals in 2013 and this great cohesion could help the Stallions at the tournament.

Defender Bakary Kone, skipper and influential midfielder Charles Kabore, Jonathan Pitroipa and the Traore brothers (Bertrand and Alain) form the core of the team.

Into their 11th appearance, Burkina Faso will hope the current crop of players can achieve better than their previous appearance when they chocked and failed to progress past the group stage.

Key battles

Bakary Kone (Burkina Faso) vs Vicent Aboubaker (Cameroon)

One of the best defenders on the continent, Kone is good at game reading and superior aerial presence. He will be tasked to stop a fast Aboubaker Vicent who has 14 goals in the 48 appearances for the national team

Nicolas Nkoulou (Cameroon) vs Jonathan Pitroipa (Burkina Faso)

Nkoulou forms the fulcrum of Cameroon’s defence. Good at commanding and his physique helps to tame strikers.

At the age of 26, Nkoulou has garnered enough experience on the national team with 71 appearances under his belt.

He will have the responsibility of taming diminutive forward Jonathan Pitroipa.

With support from Alain and Bertrand Traore, Pitroipa who usually falls deep becomes tricky to stop.

Charles Kabore (Burkina Faso) vs Sebastian Siani (Cameroon)

Kabore plays a pivotal role in the Burkina Faso midfield. The 31 year old midfielder is robust and hard working.

He has a good game reading, good at interceptions and a good ball distributor.

He will have a battle against Cameroon’s Sebastian Siani who similarly possesses the same characters.

Meetings at AFCON

The two sides last met at the 1998 African Cup of Nations where Burkina Faso were hosts.

In the opening game of the tournament, Cameroon defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 courtesy of Alphonse Tchami solitary strike.


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