By Afeseh Apong
Cameroon’s coach Antonio Conceição will have a tough decision to make, when he picks his starting XI to face the Blue sharks of Cape Verde on Monday, in their last group A game at AFCON 2021.
The indomitable lions are already through to the round of 16 following their two wins over Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, but finishing top of the group so as to remain in Yaoundé for their eighth final game, remains the primordial target for the lions.
Conceição made three changes to his starting XI coming into the game against Ethiopia, and has hinted that he might shuffle his team against Cape Verde.
The major conundrum for Conceição now is making the right decisions. Should the Portuguese rest some key elements of his team, given that they are already through to the next round, and only bring them back in their eight final?. This will mean that Conceição gives a chance to some players who have not had enough game time this far.
Giving game time to players is understandably enough, but the stakes of Cameroon finishing top of Group A, might also mean that Conceição sticks to his main starting XI, what he described during his press conference as the “winning team.”
Having a good answer to this conundrum on time, will permit the portuguese tactician to know how he is going to set up his team for Monday’s game. Conceição might also be thinking of another tactical twerk, after playing a 3_5_2 Formation against Burkina, but reverting to a 4_4_2 system against Ethiopia.
When asked about a possibility of making some changes, Conceição said;
“We have to win tomorrow, and stay confident for the next phase of the competition. There could be some modifications in the team, but we’re not going to relent because we don’t have any other choice but to go forward. When we make lots of modifications at a competitive level, then it becomes diluted. We already have a winning team and I believe it is the best of them that will be selected tomorrow.
“We have to face that match with a lot of seriousness. Tomorrow we’re going to be facing a strong team. There is no easy game during this AFCON, but we have observed that all the teams that have a big reputation, always find it difficult winning. Our players are very ready for the match of tomorrow.
“We are thinking just about the match tomorrow. That’s the most important thing as of now. We know that it is a difficult team and they also have that ambition of going to the next round. We need to play our possible best. Conceição said when asked about the possibility of facing the black stars of Ghana in the eighth final.
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