|Can Neymar and co get off to the best possible start? (Image from FIFA World Cup 2018)|
With the World Cup already underway, Brazil go into their first game of the World Cup as hot favourites, ready to get their campaign off to the best possible start. However, their first match is by no means an easy game for them. They come up against a strong Switzerland team, currently at 6thplace in the FIFA world rankings, just 4 places behind Brazil. There isn’t much history between these two teams since they have only met in one competitive match before, during the 1950 World Cup, which ended as a 2-2 draw. They have been pitted against each other in friendlies since, the most recent being in 2013, where Switzerland came out on top. However, these two teams have undergone a lot of change since then.
Switzerland’s Possible Line-up
Sommer will be Switzerland’s first choice keeper in Russia and will have to be on the top of his game to deal with the deadly Brazilian attack.
|Swiss Capatin Stephan Lichtsteiner (Image from Sky Sports)|
They are equipped with very strong full backs, with Ricardo Rodriguez and recently-signed Arsenal player Stephan Lichtsteiner. Their captain Lichtsteiner, who moved to Arsenal after 7 years at Juventus, will be a key player for Switzerland at right back, and will lead from the back trying to help try and contain Brazil’s attack while also posing an attacking threat down the wing.
Switzerland’s main weakness is that they have been struggling to find a clinical central striker, with their usual choice, Hans Seferovic, not in a great run of form and was booed off by the Swiss fans earlier in the season. He did find the back of the net in their last friendly against Japan, so this should give him some confidence and may have helped him find his way into the starting 11.
Brazil’s Possible Line-up
Brazil have a very promising chance of getting their hands on the World Cup, with a very strong squad at their hands. They will most probably use the 4-3-3 formation, which has been played with a lot of success recently for them.
Defenders: Danilo (RB), Thiago Silva (CB), Miranda (CB), Marcelo (LB)
Casemiro will play as a holding role in the centre of the midfield, capable of making key tackles in the middle of the park. Brazil tend to play with Paulinho just in front, in a slightly more attacking role. To provide extra cover, Tite has the option of Fernandinho in the squad, who was a defensive rock for Man City in their incredible title winning season. However, I think they will go for a more attacking option by using playmaker Coutinho who will add more flair to the middle of the pitch, which may be needed as Switzerland could sit quite deep in the pitch, so Brazil would have to take the game to them. Coutinho has often been played on the wing, but Brazil do have a lot of other options up front, so I can see him playing just a little further back, in a midfield role.
|Jesus is in fine form for his country (Image from the Daily Express)|