Bev Priestman, England’s assistant coach, believes Steph Houghton and co must be ready to match Cameroon’s physicality if they are to progress to the quarter finals of the World Cup.
The Lionesses won all three group matches, against Scotland, Argentina and Japan, to make it through to the last 16 of France 2019 where they will take on Alain Djeumfa’s side, who snuck into the knockout stages by finishing third in Group F.
“The African teams are unpredictable and unorthodox," Priestman told Nicole Holliday on the Lionesses Daily show.
- FIFA Women's World Cup
- Round of 16
- 4.30pm BST, Sunday 23 June
- Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
- Live on BBC One
“It will be a totally different test to what we’ve faced [so far]. We’ve got to be prepared to take on that physical battle, but when we have the ball [we have to] really, really punish them.
“Hopefully we can do what we need to do.”
England have only reached the quarter finals of one World Cup, in 2015, when they went on to eventually claim the bronze medal.
Should Phil Neville’s charges get past Cameroon in Valenciennes, they will face either Australia or Norway, who they defeated in the round of 16 four years ago.
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Priestman said: “We talk about taking it one game at a time and with every game you get more and more belief.
“We’re quite unique with the depth we’ve got. We don’t have to play a [certain] starting 11 every single game. We put the right players out for the right game. That’s our X factor and I think it will stand us in good stead moving forward.”
She added: “If we’d have sat down six months ago and said we were going to top the group and do what we’ve done I think we’d have been really happy.
“In tournaments, teams grow and they get better and better each game. That Japan test was massive for us going into the next round.
“Overall we’re really happy. It’s not been perfect – you’ll never get the perfect game of football – but the girls have delivered. That’s the main thing.”