Brazil will face the challenge an of ambitious Switzerland team as they open their 2018 World Cup campaign with a Group E clash at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, on Sunday, June 17, kick-off at 20h00 CAT.
The five-time champions naturally enter the tournament as one of the favourites and have been in great form in the lead-up to Russia 2018. Their warm-up programme saw them defeat Croatia and Austria (2-0 and 3-0 respectively) to take their unbeaten sequence to 11 matches.
Coach Tite, who took over from Dunga two years ago, led the ‘Selecao’ to the top of South America’s notoriously difficult World Cup qualifying competition in impressive style, as they clearly established themselves as the best team in the region.
Brazil – Key Players
Brazil has a huge depth of talent, but they are certainly reliant upon Neymar. The Paris Saint-Germain forward is in danger of being undercooked for the tournament after spending the last few months on the sidelines due to surgery on his foot. The 26-year-old is both their talisman and most potent goal threat, so ensuring that he gets up to speed is crucial for their hopes.
Switzerland has also enjoyed a strong build-up to Russia 2018, with a 6-0 win over Panama followed by a 1-1 draw with Spain and 2-0 win over Japan last Friday. ‘Die Nati’ has been hugely impressive over the past 20 months or so, suffering just one defeat in their last 17 matches and racking up 14 wins.
Swiss – Key Players
Coach Vladimir Petkovic has a solid squad to call on, but their key man is undoubtedly Xherdan Shaqiri. The 26-year-old Stoke City attacking midfielder brings a creativity and edge to his play that the Swiss would otherwise lack, and he will be looking to feed the scoring opportunities to the likes of Haris Seferovic and Josip Drmic upfront.
Brazil V Switzerland
Brazil and Switzerland have met in eight previous matches according to FIFA’s statistics database. The South Americans have three wins compared to two for the Europeans. The teams last met in a friendly in August 2013 which was won 1-0 by the Swiss. However, with Brazil’s firepower and World Cup pedigree, it is expected that they will open their 2018 campaign with a victory in Rostov.
Brazil v Switzerland – head-to-head
Matches played 8
Brazil wins 3
Switzerland wins 2
Brazil goals 10
Switzerland goals 8
- Brazil scores on average 2.3 goals when playing at home
- Switzerland score on average 1.2 goals when playing away
- When Brazil and Switzerland meet the average number of goals is 2.7
- Brazils recent performance thus far has been better than Switzerland