Four years ago, Brazil hosted the World Cup and was the favorite to win the biggest sporting event on the planet. However, the Brazilians were absolutely embarrassed 7-1 in the semifinals by Germany. Here we are four years later in Russia, and the MyBookie oddsmakers still like Brazil to win its sixth World Cup. It opens Sunday against Switzerland.
Brazil vs Switzerland 2018 World Cup Group E Betting Preview
When: Sunday, 2 PM ET
Where: Rostov Arena, Rostov-On-Don, Russia
TV/Stream: Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports Go
2018 World Cup Odds: Brazil -256, Switzerland +775, draw +320 (2.5)
Why Bet on Brazil?
No question this is the most talented overall roster in the World Cup, led by Neymar. He’s healthy after injuring an ankle back in the winter with his club team PSG. Nobody in soccer can match what Neymar does on the pitch — the way he dominates the attacking side of the game — other than Leo Messi.
Brazil seemed to have a bit of a hangover for a while from that 7-1 semifinal loss to Germany. Through the first six rounds of qualification, it was sitting outside the World Cup places, with just two wins in that span. A disappointing Copa America Centenario led to the firing of manager Dunga, replaced by Tite. He led Brazil on an incredible run, winning nine straight and becoming the first team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Unlike Dunga, Tite has gotten the best out of Brazil’s squad.
Brazil’s greatest quality is the fact the team doesn’t rely on Neymar as heavily as in the 2014 World Cup, when its game depended on the player’s individual moves. There are familiar faces (Dani Alves and Marcelo), new assets (Casemiro and Gabriel Alves) and athletes who have emerged across the European soccer scene (Philippe Coutinho and Willian). Brazil has players like Ederson and Filipe Luís and Marquinhos and Fred and Roberto Firmino, all of whom would be surefire starters for almost every other national team, waiting on the bench.
What Can We Expect from the Brazilians This Time Around?
This is a team that knows how to pass the ball, how to attack and also how to defend. Brazil has one of the strongest and most well-rounded defenses in the tournament, with maybe the best left back of all time in Marcelo, a trio of exceptional central defenders who are all big, strong, quick, and good on the ball in Thiago Silva, João Miranda, and Marquinhos, and (the one weakness in the starting lineup) a merely pretty solid right back in Danilo. Twenty-five-year-old Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been dubbed the “Messi of keepers” by a former coach.
This team has quality everywhere and it’s hard to find a weak spot. Losing Dani Alves hurts, but Tite has the options to replace him, and it may just make the team a bit more defensive.
Why Bet on Switzerland?
A run to the Round of 16 in 2014 has given the Swiss the confidence needed to duplicate the feat this time around, but they have never reached the knockout phase in back-to-back World Cups. Didier Deschamps led this young side to the quarterfinals in 2014 and the European Championship final in 2016, but he will be expected to take them to at least the World Cup semifinals this time around. Ranked No. 6, the Swiss have enough talented players in the peak years of their careers to make some noise.
Switzerland had a controversial route to the World Cup as a phantom penalty kick decision (it was given for handball by the home side’s Corry Evans when the ball had in fact struck his shoulder), finished by Ricardo Rodriguez, gave Switzerland a 1-0 edge over Northern Ireland over two legs. Prior to the playoff round, Switzerland picked up 27 of 30 points, only missing out on automatic qualification to Portugal on goal difference.
The team has its core in Granit Xhaka, Rodriguez, Fabian Schar and Xherdan Shaqiri, but also some young guys with guys like Breel Embolo and Edmilson Fernandez. Xhaka, oft-derided unfairly at Arsenal is likely the best player in the side. The midfield is stable around him.
Shaqiri, as talented as he is, can be too ball-dominant. He’s still Switzerland’s best attacking option – Haris Seferovic, who’s expected to start up top, is very limited and hasn’t scored a club goal since October.
What is the Strongest Point in the Swiss Squad?
The flanks are Switzerland’s strongest point. Serie A pair Stephan Lichtsteiner (the captain) and Rodriguez are both outstanding players and support attacks unstintingly even though the former is now 34. Rodriguez, of AC Milan, has an exceptional left foot that poses a considerable threat both from set pieces and open play. The former Wolfsburg man earned a big money move to Milan this past summer and at 25 years of age, he’s one of the veterans of the squad.
These two nations have faced each other eight times. Brazil have won three games, with three draws and Switzerland winning twice.
- Thiago Silva
- Joao Miranda
- Philippe Coutinho
- Gabriel Jesus
- Yann Sommer
- Stephan Lichsteiner
- Fabian Schar
- Manuel Akanji
- Ricardo Rodriguez
- Granit Xhaka
- Valon Beharami
- Xherdan Shaquiri
- Blerim Dzemaili
- Steven Zuber
- Haris Seferovic
Latest World Cup Betting Stats
- Switzerland won its first match 2-1 vs Ecuador at World Cup 2014.
- Brazil is the only South American team to win a World Cup in Europe (1958 in Sweden).
- Brazil topped CONMEBOL qualification with 41 points in 18 games.
Expert World Cup Betting Prediction
It’s pretty much a no brainier. We all know Brazil is simply destroying everything in its way and is coming with a vengeance from not being able to win the World Cup at home four years ago. It’s going to be tough for Switzerland this time around.
Score Prediction: Brazil 2, Switzerland 0