Can Brazil come on top in the absence of Neymar?
Brazil will face off against Switzerland in their second group stage game at the Stadium 974 – Ras Abu Aboud. The five time world champions will be without talisman Neymar in a bid to continue in winning ways.
Brazil come into this on the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over Serbia. They are currently on a 16 game unbeaten streak in the group stages and will be looking to maintain that record today.
Switzerland are coming on the back of a 1-0 win over Cameroon on matchday 1 and will be looking to carry that winning momentum onto the second game and win two consecutive group stage games at the World Cup.
Qatar — Not all goals sound the same. Sometimes, the noise they generate is one of joy, giddy and delighted. Sometimes, it is more guttural, not so much a celebration as a growl of defiance. At others, it is a sough of grateful relief. And very occasionally, it is something different: not an exhalation but a drawing of the breath. Sometimes, it is the sound of wonder.
For a little more than an hour, Brazil had toiled to overcome Serbia. The last of the heavyweights to start this tournament, Brazil had entered it with a head of steam: beaten only once in three years, untouchable for 18 months, expected to sweep aside anything standing that stood in the way of its long-awaited sixth World Cup.
Here it was, though, in front of a partisan and expectant crowd, grinding its way to an uninspiring win against an obdurate, but limited, opponent. It had the lead, thanks to the sort of gnarled, forgettable goal the game had merited, but it was hardly the sort of emphatic statement that had been anticipated.
Brazil VS. SWITZERLAND HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
Brazil wins: 3
Switzerland wins: 2
Brazil goals: 11
Switzerland goals: 9
June 28, 1950: Brazil 2-2 Switzerland (World Cup)
April 11, 1956: Brazil 1-1 Switzerland (Friendly)
December 21, 1980: Brazil 2-0 Switzerland (Friendly)
May 19, 1982: Brazil 1-1 Switzerland (Friendly)
June 17, 1983: Brazil 2-1 Switzerland (Friendly)
June 21, 1989: Brazil 0-1 Switzerland (Friendly)
November 15, 2006: Brazil 2-1 Switzerland (Friendly)
August 14, 2013: Brazil 0-1 Switzerland (Friendly)
June 17, 2018: Brazil 1-1 Switzerland (World Cup)
Brazil VS. SWITZERLAND
When: Monday at 7pm (16:00 GMT)
Fifa rankings: Brazil 1, Switzerland 15
Brazil, buoyed by a 2-0 win against Serbia in their opening game, will look to book their place in the last 16 as they face off against a well-drilled Switzerland team.
They will be without their star player Neymar, who picked up an ankle injury during Brazil’s opening fixture and has been ruled out for two games.
Richarlison impressed against Serbia, bagging a second-half brace, which brought his scoring to nine goals in seven appearances for Brazil. His second point, a stunning acrobatic right-footed volley, is arguably the goal of the tournament so far.
Switzerland will certainly be encouraged by Serbia’s first-half defensive display, which kept Brazil at bay and required a moment of individual brilliance to break the deadlock.
Brazil are ranked number one in the world but lacked any real flair and creativity against a lacklustre Serbia, which failed to offer any real moments of excitement.
Switzerland are hardworking and disciplined and have been difficult to beat in recent years. They famously knocked out France at Euro 2020, leaving the world champions fighting among themselves as they exited the tournament.