Preview: Depleted Cameroon aim to make light of absences against Burkina Faso

AFP , Friday 13 Jan 2017,
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Cameroon
South Africa's forward Thulani Serero (2nd L) is tackled by Cameroon's defender Allan Nyom (R) and defender Jean-Patrick Abouna (L) during the African Cup of Nations 2017 qualifying football match between South Africa and Cameroon at the Moses Mabhida stadium (AFP)

Depleted Cameroon face unpredictable Burkina Faso in the second match of an opening-day Group A double-header at the 40,000-seat Stade de l'Amitie in the Gabon capital on Saturday.

Eight of the Cameroon preliminary squad withdrew, including Liverpool defender Joel Matip and Schalke striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, saying their club careers took priority.

"We are victims of blackmail," lamented official Simon Lyonga, accusing European club managers of encouraging players to snub the 23-day African football festival.

When the dust settled, Belgium-born coach Hugo Broos named regular Lorient scorer Benjamin Moukandjo as the new skipper of the Indomitable Lions.

Predicting how the Burkinabe will perform under Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte is a hazardous task.

No-hopers in 2013, they reached the final before losing narrowly to Nigeria. A couple of years later, they performed woefully, bowing out after the first round without a win.

What the Stallions do possess is abundant Cup of Nations experience with the likes of defender Bakary Kone, midfielder and captain Charles Kabore and attacker Jonathan Pitroipa.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1