THIS may be the weakest Cameroon squad to reach a World Cup finals. They could easily have missed out on qualification had Togo not selected an ineligible player, turning a 2-0 defeat for Cameroon into a 3-0 victory.


Outright odds: 750/1

To win group: 25/1

To qualify: 100/30


Full squad: Charles Itandje (Konyaspor), Sammy Ndjock (Fetihespor), Loic Feudjou (Coton Sport); Allan Nyom (Granada), Dany Nounkeu (Besiktas), Cedric Djeugoue (Coton Sport), Aurelien Chedjou (Galatasaray), Nicolas Nkoulou (Marseille), Henri Bedimo (Lyon), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham Hotspur); Eyong Enoh (Antalyaspor), Jean Makoun (Rennes), Joel Matip (Schalke), Stephane Mbia (QPR), Landry Nguemo (Bordeaux), Alex Song (Barcelona), Edgar Salli (Lens); Samuel Eto'o (unattached), Eric Choupo Moting (Mainz), Benjamin Moukandjo (Nancy), Vincent Aboubakar (Lorient), Pierre Webo (Fenerbahce), Fabrice Olinga (Zulte-Waregem).

Manager: Volker Finke

World Cup record: Quarter-finalists (1990), Five-time group stage (1982, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010)

How they qualified (most recent 1st): Won a two-legged play-off against Tunisia 4-1 on aggregate after topping their qualifying group with 13 points from six games. The pool included Libya, DR Congo and Togo. It should be noted that the 3-0 victory away to Togo was in fact a 2-0 defeat, but the match was awarded to Cameroon after Togo were found to have fielded an ineligible player. Togo led 1-0 at half-time in that match.

v Tunisia (home) 4-1 (HT 2-0) Webo 4, Moukandjo 30, Makoun 65, 86

v Tunisia (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Libya (home) 1-0 (HT 1-0) Chedjou 41

v DR Congo (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Togo (away) 3-0 (scoreline awarded after Togo fielded ineligible player)

v Togo (home) 2-1 (HT 1-1) Eto'o 41p, 82

v Libya (away) 1-2 (HT 1-1) Choupo-Moting 15

v DR Congo (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Choupo-Moting 54p

Goalscorers: Before the 4-1 thumping of Tunisia in the second leg of the play-off, goals were desperately hard to come by for Cameroon, with a mere five in their other seven qualifiers (discounting the three 'goals' in the match forfeited by Togo). Jean Makoun's two second-half goals against Tunisia matched the total contribution of any other individual player during the whole qualification campaign.

Half-time/full-time: In Cameroon's three normal wins in their six-game group stage, they led at the break only once. Five of their eight matches in total (including the Togo game as it was played rather than as it was later awarded) were all-square at the break. Two of the three games goalless at half-time stayed that way at 90 minutes.

Clean sheets: Cameroon kept four clean sheets at a ratio of 50% (again treating the Togo game as a 2-0 defeat). Two of those were against DR Congo, but shutting out Tunisia in the first leg of the play-off is notable.

Win to nil: Two of Cameroon's four orthodox wins were to nil. Both those were 1-0 wins, and both were at home, against Libya and DR Congo.

Cards: Cameroon's eight qualifiers produced 24 yellow cards at an average of three per game. There were no red cards. Cameroon received at least caution in every game they played, but on four occasions received only one. They picked up just five cautions in their last four qualifiers, with a total of just nine in those games.

Other competitive internationals: None since autumn 2012 after Cameroon failed to qualify for the 2013 African Cup of Nations, going down 3-2 on aggregate to Cape Verde in the second qualifying round.

Build-up (most recent 1st): The Indomitable Lions have prepared for the World Cup with victory over Macedonia, a 2-1 defeat to Paraguay and a creditable 2-2 draw with Germany. They were thrashed by Portugal in Leiria in March.

v Germany (neutral) 2-2 (HT 0-0) Eto'o 62, Choupo-Moting 78

v Paraguay (neutral) 1-2 (HT 0-1) Choupo-Moting 75

v Macedonia (neutral) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Webo 52, Choupo-Moting 84

v Portugal (away) 1-5 (HT 1-1) Aboubaker 43

Team verdict: This may be the weakest Cameroon squad to reach a World Cup finals. They could easily have missed out on qualification had Togo not selected an ineligible player, turning a 2-0 defeat for Cameroon into a 3-0 victory.

Both Mexico and Croatia will know that beating Cameroon is vital to their own chances of getting out of the group alongside Brazil.

Their best chance of success would appear to be packing the midfield with teak-tough enforcers and hoping to frustrate their opponent and perhaps pinching something through a moment of brilliance from Samuel Eto'o.

But it's not a plan that looks to have great chances of success. Cameroon look overmatched in all areas and could already be out of contention before closing their group campaign against the hosts in Brasilia.

With the focus likely to be on stifling opponents, 7/1 quotes that Cameroon fail to score a goal shouldn't be dismissed out of hand and nor should 10/3 that they lose all three matches.

GROUP VERDICT Brazil are the class of this group and should win it comfortably, probably with three wins.

In contrast, Cameroon look up against it and having failed to convince in qualifying, I'm happy to rule them out of the knockout-stage scenario.

The biggest issue in this group looks to be whether Croatia or Mexico make it through behind the hosts and, for me, it is the Europeans who make more appeal.

They were hard to beat in qualifying and their industrious approach is backed up by some talented players such as Luka Modric, of Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic.

Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon is my 1-2-3-4 for this one.