With title favourites Brazil and a strong-looking Serbia side ahead of them, Switzerland and Cameroon will be desperate to make a good start in Group G at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Switzerland enter the tournament on a run of three successive wins in competitive matches, beating Portugal and the Czech Republic at home and, most impressively, triumphing in Spain.
Cameroon are winless in four friendly matches but edged out Algeria in a playoff to qualify for the finals and finished third at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Below are the projected lineups for both teams.
Rigobert Song has shown himself to be a pragmatic manager since taking charge of the Indomitable Lions earlier this year, so Cameroon are likely to adopt their favoured 4-3-3 formation and concentrate more on containing Switzerland and waiting for openings, given the strength of their opposition.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has been exceptional in Serie A leaders Napoli’s unbeaten start to the season domestically and qualification for the Champions League knockout stage, and the fleet-footed midfielder is one of the players who can spark Cameroon into recapturing the form that saw them reach the final four of AFCON.
Switzerland have shown in recent months that they can be entertainers, with Chicago Fire winger Xherdan Shaqiri’s perceptive passing and dangerous crosses providing a reliable supply line.
Shaqiri’s recipients include Breel Embolo, for whom the game has particular significance: the Monaco forward spent his childhood in his birthplace of Cameroon and later established a foundation to support projects in the country, as well as Switzerland and Peru.
Embolo is only 25 but will earn his 60th cap for Switzerland if he plays.
Switzerland predicted lineup (3-1-4-2, right to left):
1. Sommer (GK) — 5. Akanji, 2. Fernandes, 18. Cumart — 3. Widmer, 17. Vargas, 10. Xhaka, 8. Freuler, 6. Zakaria — 23. Shaqiri, 7. Breel Embolo
Switzerland’first-choice goalkeeper Yann Sommer suffered an ankle injury in early October but played the full 90 minutes in the recent friendly defeat to Ghana.
Striker Haris Seferovic,who has proved key in recent years for his national side, has struggled for form at club level this season and may have to settle for a place on the bench in their opener.
Cameroon (4-3-3, right to left):
23. Onana (GK) — 19. Fai, 21. Castelletto, 3. N’Koulou, 25. Tolo — 18. Hongla 20. Mbeumo, 8. Anguissa — 22. Ntcham, 7. N’Koudou 13. Choupo-Moting
Cameroon are one of few teams in Qatar without any notable injuries – and they’ll be hoping that luck continues throughout the tournament.
Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is likely to be key for the side.
Here are the 26 names on each team’s squad lists at the World Cup in Qatar: