Saturday, July 21, 2018

Prediction: Brazil vs Switzerland

Verdict: Brazil to win by one goal

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: bet365

Following the embarrassing exit from the 2014 World Cup on home soil, Brazil will be hoping for a strong start to the tournament in Russia and a comfortable win in their opening fixture. In-form Switzerland also hope to progress from Group E and a positive result against the Selecao could really go a long way towards said goal.

Brazil

Much has been said about Brazil’s shocking 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, so we don’t really want to run any more salt into their wound, but chances are said defeat will only make the Selecao more determined to go all the way in Russia. We can now safely say that new boss Tite has really transformed the national team, getting them playing to their potential, meaning that Neymar and co. are again feared all over the world.

Brazil won their Qualifying group in style, finishing 10 points above second-placed Uruguay, and they have since continued with promising performances. The Selecao have won five of six warm-up games, defeating Japan, Russia, Germany, Croatia and Austria, conceding just one goal in the process, so it looks as though they are completely prepared for the World Cup finals. With PSG superstar Neymar having recovered ahead of plan and already scored against Croatia and Austria, we know better than to bet against Brazil lifting the 2018 World Cup trophy.

Team News

While Dani Alves misses the tournament through injury, the likes of Alex Sandro, Luan and Giuliano were among those to be cut from the provisional squad.

There have been no fresh selection worries for head coach Tite, who is set to field his strongest side against Switzerland.

Switzerland

Switzerland have shown a great deal of promise in recent years and many believe this is their most talented generation yet, although they have so far been unable to get past the Last 16 stage at World Cup or European Championship finals. Nati were pretty impressive in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, winning 9 of 10 matches, but they still had to settle for a second-place finish and a place in the play-offs.

Switzerland did well to reach the tournament finals after a hard-fought 1-0 aggregate win over Northern Ireland, and they have since kept the rich vein of form. Namely, Nati defeated Greece (1-0), Panama (6-0) and Japan (2-0) in their warm-up games while sharing spoils with Spain (1-1), and it would appear as though they stand a good chance of progressing from their group that also contains Serbia and Costa Rica in addition to Brazil.

Team News

Tim Klose, Silvan Widmer, Fabian Frei, Eren Derdiyok and Admir Mehmedi failed to make the cut, but all 23 players in the squad are ready for the Brazil clash.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Brazil unbeaten in last 11 fixtures (W8 D3)
  • The Selecao conceded just once in last 8
  • Switzerland won 14 of last 17 matches (D2 L1)
  • Nati kept five clean sheets in last six
  • The two sides played out a 2-2 draw at the 1950 World Cup finals

Conclusion

Switzerland have been in fine form of late and they should prove a tough nut to crack, but we do expect Brazil to eventually take the lead and secure an important victory in their opening fixture. Backing both teams to score may also prove a good option here.

Verdict: Brazil to win by one goal

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: bet365

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