Host nation Cameroon set the ball rolling at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations with a clash versus Burkina Faso at the Paul Biya Stadium on Sunday.
The teams will be looking to get off to a fast start as Cameroon go in search of a sixth title, while Burkina Faso still seek their maiden continental crown.
Cameroon secured their place in the tournament following an impressive qualifying journey where they picked up 11 points from their six outings.
After going all the way in 2017, Toni Conceicao’s men went into the most recent edition as huge favourites but went on to suffer a last-16 exit at the hands of Nigeria.
The Indomitable Lions have responded superbly since then, going on to book their place in the final qualifying round for the World Cup which is scheduled to take place in November.
For now, though, Cameroon have their sights set on conquering the continent, and three points in this weekend’s opening fixture would help set the tone for what is to come.
However, standing in their way is an opposing side who they have failed to defeat in any of the last four meetings after coming out on top in each of the first two clashes.
Burkina Faso capped off their preparation for the AFCON with a convincing 3-0 win over Gabon on Sunday.
Goals from Issa Kabore, Gustavo Sangare and Dango Ouattara got the job done for Kamou Malo’s men.
Les Etalons, who came closest to success in 2013 when they reached the final, have suffered group-stage and semi-final exits in the subsequent two editions, before failing to even qualify in 2019.
Off the back of an unbeaten qualifying campaign, the West Africans will be keen to follow that up with an impressive performance in the tournament proper.
Cameroon form (all competitions):
Burkina Faso form (all competitions):
We say: Cameroon 2-0 Burkina Faso
With the home crowd cheering them on, the onus is more on Cameroon to emerge victorious, and we are backing them to come away with all three points in relatively comfortable fashion.