The FIFA World Cup 2022 is in full swing and in just the space of a few games, we have already witnessed some big upsets. In the first match of Group G, Switzerland will face Cameroon. The Swiss are favourites to advance from this group, but they will need a good start if they are to progress. In the last few mega-events, they’ve shown tremendous spirit, and this time they’ll aim to go the extra mile.
On the other hand, Cameroon might not be in good form at the moment, but they can upset Switzerland if they play well. The team has only won one game in the last five games, but history doesn’t matter in this tournament. The attention will be focused on players like Choupo-Moting and Xhaka who are coming off fantastic club seasons.
Kick off: 3:30 PM (IST), 10:00 PM (GMT)
Switzerland form (all competitions): L-W-W-W-L
Cameroon form (all competitions): W-L-L-D-D.
In the past year, Granit Xhaka has transformed from one of Arsenal’s most hated players to one of the most loved players, and this is the story of his redemption. After the Euro 2020, he hasn’t made any mistakes. If Switzerland wants to achieve something unimaginable at the World Cup 2022, he will have to pull strings up in midfield.
Injury & Team News
Switzerland had a major injury scare before coming into the World Cup. Their star man Yann Sommer was doubtful to start the tournament but he is clear to play after proving his match fitness in recent friendlies.
They will be relying on experienced heads as they meet African opposition for the second time at the World Cup too, having last faced Togo at Germany 2006.
Vice-captain Xherdan Shaqiri may have bowed out at European club level to play in MLS, but he has been directly involved in 48% of their 23 goals in their last four major tournaments, with eight goals and three assists.
In his fourth World Cup, the attacking midfielder says his nation are unfancied in a group alongside Brazil and Serbia, but added: “There are always underdogs who maybe surprise.
Currently, Cameroon does not have any major injury concerns. All players are available for the opening match. However, no final confirmation has been received from Coaches or any official sources.
Head to Head
Switzerland and Cameroon will be tussling for the first time in their history. Both have not yet met before but this match could be the start of something new.
Played – 0
Switzerland – 0
Drawn – 0
Cameroon – 0
Switzerland XI (4-2-3-1):
Sommer, Widmer, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka, Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas, Embolo
Predicted Cameroon XI (4-3-3):
Onana, Ebosse, Castelletto, N’Koulou, Fai, Ntcham, Anguissa, Gouet; Mbeumo, Aboubakar, Choupo-Moting.
It will be its 12th appearance in the World Cup for Switzerland. Previously, they fell in the Group Stage in 2018 but made it to the Round of 16 in 2014. The Swiss will hope to replicate that effort.
Cameroon has work to do, but they come in with the hopes of every country that enters this tournament. However, they have stumbled and bumbled recently, losing four of its five games. Can they recover and give the Swiss a fight? Their last victory came over the 141st-ranked Burundi. Additionally, Cameroon is the fourth lowest-ranked country in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. They rank 28 spots below the Swiss. It is safe to say they are heavy underdogs.
Why Switzerland Will Beat Cameroon
The Swiss are the favorites and should win. However, things do not always go according to plan, as we learned with Argentina’s defeat to Saudi Arabia. Yakin must ensure his players are ready. Also, he must have the correct formation and the proper execution. Breel Embolo and captain Granit Xhaka will be the players to watch. Additionally, Yann Sommer might play a pivotal role in this tournament.
Embolo has done reasonably well for himself. Ultimately, he scored seven goals and two assists over 15 Ligue 1 matches. Embolo also added a goal and two assists throughout six Europa League matches. However, he shined in the World Cup qualifiers, finishing with three goals and three assists over six games. Xhaka is in his prime. Significantly, he scored three goals and produced three assists over 14 matches in the English Premier League. Xhaka also has experience in the World Cup. Substantially, he has produced a goal in the 2018 World Cup and the 2014 World Cup. These two are the best but can use the help. Moreover, can Sommer be the third piece the Swiss need?
Switzerland will cover the spread if they can find ways to attack early and take the spirit out of Cameroon. Also, they must execute their plan and move the ball fluidly.
Why Cameroon Will Beat Switzerland
Cameroon is not the team anyone expects to win. However, stranger things have happened, and they would like to replicate what Saudi Arabia did. They have some players to watch that could take charge of this match. However, are they good enough to carry them past the Swiss?
Karl Toko Ekambi is the best player to look out for. Significantly, he produced four goals and one assist over 15 Ligue 1 matches. Ekambi played well in the World Cup qualifiers, delivering three goals over eight matches. Additionally, he thrived during the Africa Cup of Nations, adding five goals in seven matches. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is also a force on the field. Mainly, he scored six goals with two assists through 10 matches in Bundesliga. Choupo-Moting also capitalized with three goals through six World Cup qualifiers.