Powerhouses Clash in World Cup Qualifiers
African powerhouses Cameroon and Algeria clash on Friday in a much-anticipated first leg of their World Cup qualifier playoff matchup. Riyad Magrez may be the highest-profile player on either team, but it was Cameroon’s Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar who stole the show at the Africa Cup of Nations. If they continue their excellent goal-scoring form, the Indomitable Lions will be hard to beat. According to the most recent soccer odds, Cameroon are indeed the favorites.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and Africa World Cup Qualifier odds for Cameroon vs Algeria. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Cameroon Nearly Faultless at Home
Cameroon have already run the gauntlet, qualifying over African powerhouses Ivory Coast in the second round Group D. Karl Toko Ekambi sealed Cameroon’s place in the playoff round as they met Ivory Coast in Yaounde in November, where the team hadn’t lost for over 30 years. The Indomitable Lions were +125 favorites and won as a pick’em to finish an impressive 4-1-1 ATS in the second round.
Forwards Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi finished as the two highest scorers at the Africa Cup of Nations and they’ll be key over this two-leg knockout tie. With injuries to Ajax’s other keepers, Andre Onana has gotten some much-needed time between the sticks and should be ready to go as well.
The Indomitable Lions haven’t lost in 90 minutes for the last 11 matches but went out in the AFCON semifinals to Egypt on home soil. They later won the third-place game and Cameroon have been one of the better CAF soccer picks over the last year.
Algeria Out to Prove AFCON was a Fluke
RIyad Mahrez and Algeria went out in the group stage at AFCON in January despite winning the last edition of the tournament in 2019. They went 0-3 ATS for betting online, lost to both Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea, drew with Sierra Leone and scored just one goal.
It was a nightmare showing, which was especially surprising given their +21 goal difference in the second round of World Cup qualifiers and previous 35-game unbeaten run. A difficult pair of fixtures vs. Cameroon should be a good test of their mettle.
Attacker Adam Ounas is out of the squad due to a thigh injury. Djamel Belmadi declined to call up Said Benrahma, who’s struggled since joining West Ham in 2020 but has put together a few decent performances lately. It’s now up to Mahrez and Islam Slimani to produce goals for the Fennec Foxes.
Cameroon vs Algeria Head-to-Head
These teams have seldom met in the last decade but Cameroon have not lost to Algeria since 1995. Since then, the Indomitable Lions are 3-0-2 vs. Algeria but have won just one of the last three.
The last meeting was in a 2017 World Cup qualifier, which Cameroon won 2-0 in Douala, where this match will be played. The reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw.
Cameroon vs Algeria Game Information
- Game: Cameroon vs Algeria
- Location: Douala Stadium, Douala, Cameroon
- Day/Time: Friday, March 25th. 1 p.m. ET
- Live stream: fubo.tv
Cameroon vs Algeria Betting Lines
Cameroon vs Algeria Prediction
It is a little tempting to just take Cameroon as favorites at +115 against the ½-goal spread. They were excellent at AFCON but managed 90-minute draws in their last two matches of the tournament vs. better competition. Algeria, at -145, are implied to be more likely to cover the spread, but it’s not easy to predict how they’ll bounce back from their poor showing in January.
Cameroon’s moneyline odds are the same as their odds ATS in the sportsbook. Algeria is priced at +280, which is interesting, but I’m not exactly confident in them at this point. This game is listed as less likely to finish in a draw than any of the other four qualifiers taking place this weekend. At +200, I think there’s a decent bit of value in it.
The O/U total is at two and Cameroon have scored at least two goals in five of their last seven matches. Algeria certainly have goal-scoring ability as well but both teams could play conservatively.
That said, a draw appears to be the standout pick for this match at +200.