By Craig Kemp
Last Updated: 21st June 2019
Based on world rankings, England couldn’t have asked for much of an easier assignment in the last-16 of the Women’s World Cup.
Cameroon entered the tournament as the supposed third weakest team given their ranking of 46. Only South Africa and Jamaica were ranked lower and both were dumped out of the group stage without registering a point between them.
It was only an injury-time winner in their final outing against New Zealand that saw Cameroon advance as one of the best-achieving third-placed teams.
England are understandable favourites in the match betting at 1/9 after winning all three group-phase fixtures and there may be the temptation to believe Phil Neville’s Lionesses will savage their opponents.
However, the best bet on offer may prove the 8/5 on Cameroon with a +2 handicap. Here’s why:
Reasons why it won’t be one-way England traffic
Firstly, those with memories dating back slightly longer than the start of this World Cup will remember England losing to New Zealand 1-0 in their final warm-up game prior to the tournament kicking off.
Given that Cameroon have just beaten New Zealand, this suggests that the African nation are capable of doing more than fulfilling a fixture obligation.
What’s more, in a competition where some of the weaker nations were condemned to heavy defeats, Cameroon remained competitive.
USA beat Thailand 13-0, Italy put five past Jamaica and the likes of South Korea and South Africa suffered 4-0 reverses.
Cameroon only went down 1-0 to Canada and made a game of it when equalising against Holland, before eventually losing 3-1.
Although coming up against some inspired goalkeeping performances, England haven’t exactly been scoring machines in this tournament.
Alongside five goals in their three World Cup matches, they haven’t scored more than two in any of their last seven fixtures.
Where England will win it against Cameroon
The following graphic shows Cameroon’s tendency to focus all of their play down their right-hand side:
— Grace Robertson🧜♀️⚧♀️ (@GraceOnFootball) June 21, 2019
This should play into England’s hands if Lucy Bronze is given licence to attack from right back. Meanwhile, whoever starts down the right flank between Nikita Parris and Rachel Daly will flourish if left one-on-one against Cameroon left-back Yvonne Leuko.