Cameroon AFCON 2023 squad reaction: Can the Indomitable Lions rule Africa for the sixth time?

Only Egypt have won the Africa Cup of Nations more times than Cameroon. The Indomitable Lions are five time champions, last getting their hands on the trophy in 2017 while they finished in 3rd place on home soil in the most recent edition. The Cameroon AFCON 2023 squad will be targeting a sweet sixth success over the next month.

Latest Cameroon AFCON 2023 outright odds

Cameroon AFCON odds

Cameroon AFCON 2023 squad review

There is one very notable absentee from this Cameroon squad. Our expected Cameroon starting lineup featured in-form Brentford man Bryan Mbeumo but an ankle injury means he’ll miss the tournament in a blow to Cameroon’s chances.

One Premier League player who will be travelling to Ivory Coast for the tournament is Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana with the 27 year old hoping to put his domestic struggles behind him while on international duty.

Experienced players like Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Nicolas Nkoulou are also absent from a fairly youthful squad which will be skippered by forward Vincent Aboubakar.

Andre Onana
Photo by Icon Sport

Full Cameroon AFCON 2023 squad

Goalkeepers

  • Andre Onana
  • Fabrice Ondoa
  • Devis Epassy
  • Simon Ngapandouetnbu

Defenders

  • Jean-Charles Castelletto
  • Nouhou Tolo
  • Harold Moukoudi
  • Christopher Wooh
  • Oumar Gonzalez
  • Darlin Yongwa
  • Malcom Bokele
  • Junior Tchamadeu
  • Enzo Tchato

Midfielders

  • Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa
  • Olivier Ntcham
  • Yvan Neyou
  • Benjamin Elliott
  • Olivier Kemen
  • Nathan Wilfried Douala

Strikers

  • Vincent Aboubakar
  • Karl Toko Ekambi
  • Moumi Ngamaleu
  • Clinton N'Jie
  • Georges-Kevin Nkoudou
  • Frank Magri
  • Faris Moumbagna
  • Leonel Christian Ateba

Surprise inclusions

This is quite a bold squad selection in many respects from Rigobert Song with a number of experienced players excluded and it features no fewer than 17 players who have yet to make their 10th appearance for their country.

Perhaps the most surprising inclusions are those of two players who play their domestic football in Cameroon. 24 year old forward Leonel Christian Ateba has only played for his country once while uncapped 17 year old midfielder Nathan Wilfried Douala is the other unexpected inclusion.

In-form players

Cameroon AFCON 2023 squad - Anguissa
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa – Key to Cameroon's chances? – Photo by Icon Sport

The midfield is an area of concern for Cameroon heading into the tournament with a real lack of experience, which will add pressure on the shoulders of key man Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. He has been a regular again for Italian champions Napoli this season and will add quality and athleticism to Cameroon’s midfield play.

Up front, there are certainly more options. Vincent Aboubakar is likely to spearhead the attack but the form man is Georges-Kevin Nkoudou. 

He’s only been capped six times but has netted 14 times already in the star-studded Saudi Pro League this season. That’s more than the likes of Karim Benzema and is a record that only Cristiano Ronaldo and Aleksandar Mitrovic can better.

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is scoring for fun in Saudi Arabia – Photo by Icon Sport

Tactical analysis

Cameroon are in Group C with winnable fixtures against Guinea and Gambia, either side of the big showdown with much fancied Senegal.

There are many questions for Rigobert Song heading into this tournament and their opening lineup will be very interesting to look out for. He’ll need to find somebody to fill the hole left by Mbeumo, although in-form Georges-Kévin Nkoudou was selected ahead of the former Brentford man in their recent World Cup qualifier against Libya and is a natural fit for the right flank.

Finding balance in that inexperienced midfield will also be key so the group stage may to some extent be about experimentation, particularly in the games against Guinea and Gambia.

The second match against Senegal will be a clash of two of the strongest teams in the competition though so we may see a more cautious Cameroon in that game and both coaches may be content enough to see that one end level.

Current odds

Cameroon are currently 10/1 (11.00) to win the tournament. However they are second favourites to win their group at 21/10 (3.10) behind Senegal who are the tournament favourites with some bookies.

Group C is seen as the most likely group to serve up the outright AFCON winner at 3/1 (4.00).

Cameroon AFCON trivia

Rigobert Song
Current boss Rigobert Song in the Final of AFCON 2002 | Photo by Eric Renard/Icon Sport

Despite being the second most successful team in AFCON history, Cameroon didn’t win their first title until the 14th staging of the event in 1984.

That was the last and only other time that Ivory Coast has been the host nation, potentially a good omen for Cameroon’s chances 40 years later?

Cameroon have won 71% of their AFCON Finals, the best record of any nation to have reached the Final on more than two occasions.

The Indomitable Lions are one of just three teams to have successfully defended the AFCON title with their victories in 2000 and 2002.

Current Cameroon boss Rigobert Song took shootout penalties in both the 2000 and 2002 Finals, scoring against Nigeria in 2000 but missing against Senegal two years later.


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Mark Sochon

Mark is a freelance football writer based in Madrid. He regularly attends and covers La Liga matches around Spain, whilst also following football across Europe.