Rebooted Brazil seeks redemption against gritty Switzerland
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It’s been a long and painful 4 years for Brazil, and the wounds still aren’t fully healed. They were favourites heading into their home World Cup in 2014 and looked in good shape, until the Germans got hold of them that is. Germany demolished them 7-1 in front of a seething Brazilian crowd.
The wounds were opened afresh in 2015 and 2016, with them exiting in the first knockout round of the Copa America Centenario and then crashing out in the group stages of the 2016 edition. This is the time to banish those demons for Tite and company, and it starts with a clash against the second favourites of the group.
Brazil definitely come into this World Cup in high spirits though. Their talisman captain Neymar is back after a spell on the sidelines, and their 3-0 thrashing of Austria last week extends their unbeaten streak to 11 games, eight of which have ended in victory. They comfortably topped their World Cup qualifying group too.
Switzerland aren’t a bad team by any stretch of the imagination. They pushed Portugal all the way in their World Cup qualifying group, and were only denied the top spot by a 2-0 loss to the Euro 2016 winners in the final game of the campaign. Since then they have won four and drawn two, with their most recent being a 2-0 friendly win over Japan.
They may be a decent side, but they’re coming up against some of the best attacking players in the world on Sunday. Neymar will be the man everyone turns to, but with the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Willian, Roberto Firmino, Phillip Coutinho, and Douglas Costa also in their ranks he is by no means the only threat.
He is, however, the main threat. The Brazil captain has scored an incredible 55 goals in 85 matches for his country, and he’s still just 26 years of age. He is already joint 3rd on the list of all-time Brazilian goal-scorers, in ranks with a prestigious bunch that includes Pele, Ronaldo, and Romario. The PSG forward has scored in each of their two warm up friendlies in order to prove his fitness, so we think he’s well worth a bet for our anytime goal-scorer predictions.
As far as the overall result goes, we’re expecting goals on Sunday. 11 of Brazil’s 18 qualifying games saw at least three goals scored, with Brazil themselves netting 41 goals in these games.
Meanwhile, Switzerland showed their frail back line by conceding 2 goals in both of their qualifiers against Hungary, also conceding against Albania, Andorra, and Portugal.
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