World Cup favourites and five-time winners Brazil will begin their tournament on Sunday evening as they take on Switzerland in their first Group E fixture. All eyes will be on the Samba Boys who have arrived in Russia in supreme form which has led to huge expectations both back home and across the globe. Neymar will be the main attraction but there are a host of quality players that combine to make this a very effective team.
However, they won’t have it all their own way against a tough Swiss side that won nine of their ten qualifiers even though they needed the play-offs to confirm their place. With experience in key areas of the pitch and pace and skill in attack, Brazil know they won’t have it all their own way in Rostov.
Here we will give you Brazil vs Switzerland betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Brazil vs Switzerland prediction for the opener.
Our Brazil vs Switzerland prediction: Brazil 2-0 Switzerland
Our Brazil vs Switzerland prediction tips is for the South American nation to come through with a reasonably comfortable win to get off to the perfect start.
It’s easy to see why Brazil are favourites as they have genuine world-class quality all over the pitch. From Alisson in goal to Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Casemiro, Coutinho and Neymar throughout the side, along with many more, it’s a pretty formidable side. They have clicked under manager Tite and are capable of hurting sides in so many ways. They can keep possession and cut open a packed, deep defence whilst they can counter at speed. It’s likely to be the former on Sunday but they should have answers.
Yet, the Swiss are resolute and do have quality of their own so whilst we predict a Brazil win, they may have to be patient and could finish the game off with a late second on the break. Switzerland are well organised, have two solid full-backs in Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ricardo Rodriguez, with Granit Xhaka the man tasked with providing Xherdan Shaqiri and Breel Embolo in the final third. Their tournament won’t be defined by Sunday’s game though, with bigger matches coming up as they look to finish second.
Our recommended tip – Brazil -1
As they are hot favourites to win this game, there’s little value for punters looking to back a Brazil win, so instead we will go for a -1 handicap, which means they must win by two goals.
Whilst we’ve praised the resilience and determination the Swiss show defensively, this is a bet that should still land. Brazil will be doing all the pressing and once they get the first goal the game should change and open up.
That will allow more space for the likes of Coutinho, Neymar and Gabriel Jesus and ultimately that quality should tell, ensuring Brazil begin with a comfortable win.
Switzerland actually have a very decent record against Brazil given the history of both countries. Altogether they’ve played eight times, with Brazil winning three, three draws and two Swiss wins. One of those draws was in the 1950 World Cup, the only time they’ve met competitive before Sunday.
Yet, they will face an in-form and firing Brazil in Rostov. They have lost just once in two years and recorded victories in their final four warm up games without conceding a goal. Going back further, they have won 17 of their last 21 matches with Tite transforming this side.
That shows the task at hand for the European side but they can take heart from their own performances. A draw with Spain a few weeks ago displayed their ability to cope with the big boys and they too have lost just once since 2016.
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Players to watch – Neymar & Breel Embolo
The Brazil number ten is arguably the most iconic shirt in football and it brings with it a lot of pressure and expectancy, yet Neymar will relish that. The PSG man hasn’t played for much of 2018 because of injury but featured in recent friendlies and could be rested and raring to go after his lay-off. He has the skill to carry Brazil a long way in this tournament and will be the main threat on Sunday.
For Switzerland, they will have a game plan and it will involve soaking up a lot of pressure. Therefore, it’s vital they have a threat on the break to ease that at times. And, Embolo could be the man to do that. The Schalke forward has blistering pace, good power and can cause defenders real trouble. The issue will be the service he gets but if it’s good enough, the Swiss will have a chance on the break.