15th of June 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
World Cup favourites Brazil start their campaign on Sunday in Rostov where they meet Switzerland in Group D. Serbia and Costa Rica are the other two teams in this group, in which Brazil are strong favourites to finish first. The two teams have met three times before on the international stage and the record is surprisingly even: one win apiece and one draw. In fact, Switzerland have won the last direct match, 1-0 in a friendly in 2013, while the only competitive match between the two ended with a 2-2 draw at the 1950 World Cup.
Five-time winners Brazil are eager to make the shameful exit from the 2014 World Cup forgotten, back then they were humiliated with a 7-1 defeat against Germany in front of their own fans in the semi-finals. More disappointments followed for Brazil as they lost to Paraguay in the quarter-finals of the Copa America in 2015 and then even failed to qualify from the group stage at the 2016 Copa America. However, they have dominated the South American World Cup qualifying group and are unbeaten in their last eleven matches in all competitions. Moreover, Brazil have won their last four friendly matches and have not conceded a goal in their last five matches. Fred has an ankle injury and will be out of contention for Sunday's match.
Switzerland are enjoying their fourth consecutive presence at the FIFA World Cup final tournament, and they qualified from the group stage on two of the three previous occasions. They fought hard to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, they finished second behind Portugal in their group and then grabbed a 1-0 aggregate victory over Northern Ireland in the playoffs. They have not lost any of their four friendly matches this year, including a creditable 1-1 draw against former world champions Spain earlier this month.
Brazil: Alisson - Danilo, T. Silva, Miranda, Marcelo - Paulinho, Casemiro, Coutinho - Willian, Jesus, Neymar
Switzerland: Sommer - Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez - Behrami, Xhaka - Shaqiri, Freuler, Zuber - Seferovic
My prediction: Brazil to win 2-0, even though Switzerland have been looking solid lately they don't have enough to stop Neymar and company.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Brazil win - 1.40
Draw - 4.80
Switzerland win - 9.50
13th of July 2018
Not a great game by Brazil, they were quite frustrated by the way Switzerland scored their equalizer but the truth is that they didn't made enough when they were 1-0 in front playing too conservatively and calculating which in fact was the reason for that score I believe.
So it was a reasonable 1-1 score I think and a good way for both teams to start the tournament.
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