Our prediction for this match:
Russia and Cameroon face each other at VTB Arena in Moscow in what is expected to be an entertaining friendly. The Russians played their last competitive match back in November 2021 and, no doubt, the lack of teamwork could prove to be a big problem for the home side. Boss Valeri Karpin should use Thursday’s friendly to test as many players as possible, with the likes of Pinyaev, Mukhin, Glebov, and Siljanov pushing for a start.
The Indomitable Lions, on the other hand, booked their place at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations finals thanks to a 3-0 win over Burundi, but beating Russia in Moscow is easier said than done. A close encounter is on the cards in the Russian capital and we believe that punters from all around the world can find value in betting on draw. All Jean Charles Castelletto, Jerome Ngom, and Pierre Kunde Malong are back to the Cameroon squad, with Toulouse’s Frank Magri receiving his first call-up.
Highlighted Player (Karl Toko-Ekambi):
Karl Toko Ekambi is a professional footballer who plays for Ligue 1 club Angers as a striker. Ekambi was born in Paris on September 14 1992, but he does not represent les Tricolores on the international stage. The 183-cm-tall attacker plays for Cameroon and it has to be noted that he made his senior debut for les Lions Indomptables in a 3-2 win over Burkina Faso back in June, 2015.
Ekambi came as a substitute in the 77th minute of the match, replacing fellow attacker Mengolo. The Cameroonian footballer played for Paris FC during his youth career and he made his first-team debut for the capital club on April 26, 2011 in a 2-2 draw with Beauvais. Karl Toko Ekambi scored 21 goals in 66 appearances for Paris from 2010 to 2014 and at the end of the 2013/2014 season he joined Sochaux.
After netting 25 goals in 72 appearances for the club, in the summer of 2016 Ekambi signed a contract with Angers which expires on June 30, 2020.
Highlighted Team (Russia):
While they won the 1960 European Championship, while losing in the final in 1964, 1972 and 1988 as Soviet Union, Russia have enjoyed little success since starting to compete as an independent country in 1992.
Their best result up to date is the third-placed finish at the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, while the team failed to get past the group stage at the World Cup finals in three attempts. However, with Russian Premier League getting stronger by the day, the national team have started to improve as well, and they now finally seem capable of matching the world’s top sides.
The new generation includes high-quality footballers such as Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Kokorin, Artyom Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov, while the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Roman Shirokov and Yuri Zhirkov are nearing the closing stages of their careers. But, with plenty of exciting talent coming through the ranks, future definitely looks bright for the Russia national team.