Tip Brazil - Switzerland
Brazil begin their bid to win the World Cup for the sixth time in its history. Whether that means they'd get to keep the current trophy just as they did after winning the original Jules Rimet Trophy isn't known. What is known is that their side is in fantastic form at present and another World Cup victory, which would be the first since 2002. They had few qualification problems winning the South American qualifying group by a stunning ten points scoring 41 goals and conceded just 11 in their 18 games. They are on an 11-game unbeaten run coming into this tournament with their last defeat being a friendly against Argentina last June and have lost just one in the last 21. What is impressive about this Brazilian team is that they can defend brilliantly and that's not always been the case. Brazil kept 10 clean sheets in their qualifiers and haven't conceded in thier last five friendlies and that includes games against England, Russia and Germany. In their last ten games they have only conceded twice and if they keep that up in Russia then it's going to take a great team to beat them. Their squad is packed with talented players, none more so than Neymar who has returned from injury to score in the last two friendlies.
First to face the Brazilian in Russia are Switzerland who won their first nine qualifers but still had to go into the play-offs. They lost their last game to Portugal, who they had beaten in the group opener, leaving them in second place. They got the better of Northern Ireland in the play-offs but only thanks to a very dodgy penalty that the VAR at the World Cup finals might not have allowed. The Swiss haven't reached the last eight of the World Cup since 1954 when they were hosts. They are in good form though with no defeats in the last six and just the defeat by Portugal in their last 17. Recent games have seen them beat Panama 6-0, Greece 1-0 and Japan 2-0 and held Spain to a draw. Switzerland have kept five clean sheets in their last six games but that's going to be incredibly difficult to achieve against mighty Brazil. Go for the Brazilians to win this match.
Key points Brazil - Switzerland
Brazil are unbeaten in their last 11 games.
Brazil have only conceded twice in the last 10 matches.
Brazil have only lost two games in the past two years.
Conclusion Brazil - Switzerland
If Brazil were to lose this game, it'd be the first time they've ever lost three games in a row at the World Cup finals. That's not going to happen though because they are in fantastic form at present. They have no injury worries and their defence is rock solid. They take on a Switzerland side who are also in good form but often struggle against the very best, especially away from home. Brazil have the firepower and the momentum here and can start their campaign with a win.
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