Brazil is set to begin their mission HEXA today for the Russian World Cup 2018 against Switzerland at the Rostov Arena. It is going to be the second match of Group E after Costa Rica faces Serbia. Brazil definitely intends to grab three points from this match against a bit less superior Swiss brigade, which may add a good boost up to the team. Clovis Acosta Fernandes, the “world cup man” who was deeply associated to Brazils every game of world, will be missed by the Samba brigade in the stands for the first time since 1990 as he passed away in 2015. But his sons will be there in the stands to continue his legacy. Switzerland on the other hand is a bit underdog in this group as their way to Russia was more about luck and controversies than skill and good football.
17th June 2018
12:30 (IST) [KickOff]
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Coach Tite has handover the Captain’s arm-band to Marcelo leaving Neymar and Thiago Silva this time. The Real star who turned villain in the crucial and cursed 6-1 loss of Brazil against Germany was kept out of the national team till Tite took up as the samba gaffer. Marcdelo’s hat trick in the champions league and his brilliant performance in the qualifiers made him back to the squad. Neymar is going to be the ace of attack along with Coutinho. The wall of defence will be maintained by the PSG man Thiago Silva, talented Marquinhos and the captain Marcelo himself.
Xherdan Shaqiri is the fav of Swiss fans and reminded the world of his talent with a splendid overhead-kick against Poland at Euro 2016, where Die Nati reached the last 16. The 26-year-old winger hasn’t scored for his country in 12 months, but will be looking to put himself on for the back of the net against Brazil following Stoke’s relegation from the Premier League this past season.
BRAZIL- Dani Alves SWITZERLAND- Admir Mehmedi
Allison Becker (GK), Marcelo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Fagner, Casemiro, Paulhino, Renato Augusto, Coutinho, Neymar, Gabriel Jesus
Yann Sommer (GK), Stephan Lichtsteiner, Fabian Schaer, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Valon Behrami, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Remo Freuler, Breel Embolo,Haris Seferovic
Brazil has been in top notch form recently, they basically waltzed their way in the South American qualifiers which most of the pundits describe as the toughest section. Brazil demolished almost every opponent in the qualifiers finishing 10 points above second-placed Uruguay. With only one loss in their 18-match World Cup qualifying campaign, they are looking in an unstoppable form at the moment.
In the recent warm-up matches, Switzerland played strikingly well, having pulled off a 1-1 draw against a strong Spain side and then defeating Japan 2-0 in their last practise match before the big showdown in Russia. It now remains to be seen if they can continue their good run against Brazil in their opener at the Rostov Arena next week.
Tite is hoping his players can deliver on the world’s biggest stage after showing what they are capable of in the build-up to the tournament.
“The work we have done elevates the expectations, but also brings us peace,” the 57-year-old said in his pre-match press conference.
“I am very happy about the level of performance we have showed so far. I hope we can now reproduce this under pressure.”
Petkovic admits he would take a point against Brazil, but he’s not about to set out his boys to defend, despite the abundance of talent at Tite’s side.
“For me as a coach, as a football teacher, a draw is not enough,” he told the press. “We always try to achieve the maximum, to win, that is obviously the case, we will do everything to achieve this.
“If the opponent is better at performing on the pitch and we have to settle for a draw we will accept that. But we prefer to focus on winning and we have that ambition.”
Tite is trying to represent his team not so much dependent on Neymar but it seems at the end its Neymar who is going to decide the balls direction. The PSG star was out of the field for past one month due to an injury but his practice sessions and performance in the warm ups signifies that he just needs a mere couple of days to be more than ready for the HEXA mission. If brazil gets a good possession of the ball in the first two quarters it will be fruitful game today for them. The initial good start is very much needed to pump up the samba stars in their mission. But as the initial matches of this world cup has got a trend of the underdogs stopping the greater ones to take home three points. The Swiss can thus turn to be a threshold to Brazils sweet three points.