Switzerland vs. Brazil
|Date & Time||Sunday June 17, 2018, 2:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Brazil -275 / Draw +418 / Switzerland +915 -- Over/Under: 3
We have some group F World Cup action on Sunday afternoon as Brazil takes on Switzerland from the Rostov Arena.
Brazil reached the group stage of the 2018 World Cup as the #2 ranked team in the world only behind Germany, qualifying with the top record in CONMEBOL qualification, collecting 41 out of a possible 54 points, with 12 wins, 5 draws and a single loss, 10 points clear of second place, scoring 41 goals while conceding just 11. The Brazilians will be looking to improve on a fourth place finish on home soil in 2014, losing the third place matchup to the Netherlands. Alisson saw the bulk of the workload in the friendly portion of their schedule, including the 3-0 win over Austria that pushed their unbeaten run to 11 games. Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Danilo, Marquinhos and Filipe Luis will be expected to anchor the back line, while Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, Fernandinho and Willian will shore up Brazil’s midfield. However the one player almost everyone will focus on when Brazil take the pitch will be Neymar, who has 85 appearances for Brazil with 55 goals.
Switzerland on the other hand had a bit of a tougher time getting into the tournament, Finishing tied atop group B in UEFA qualifying with Portugal, with both sides accruing 27 out of a possible 30 points, however Portugal won out on a tiebreaker because of their goal differential. Switzerland then progressed to take on Northern Ireland in a playoff, punching their ticket to Russia with a 1-0 win on aggregate. Yann Sommer will be expected to get the starting nod in goal, while captain Stephan Lichtsteiner, Johan Djourou and Ricardo Rodriguez will anchor the Swiss defence. Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri will represent the Premier League in the Swiss midfield, while Haris Seferovic will be responsible for the Swiss scoring up front.
The last time these two teams met was in a friendly in 2013 that the Swiss took 1-0.
While I definitely believe Switzerland poses the toughest test for Brazil and while I see the Swiss making it out of the group in the 2nd position, I just can’t go against the Brazilians here. Brazil has too much firepower going for them, and have expectations to live up to after a disappointing showing on home soil in 2014. The juice isn’t pretty, but I don’t see any other result beside a Brazil win here.