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World Cup 2018: Brazil Team vs Switzerland, Predicted XI

Rohith Nair
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Feature
18.31K   //    17 Jun 2018, 14:47 IST

Brazil Portraits - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Is Neymar 100% fit to play Brazil's World Cup opener?

The 2018 World Cup is well and truly underway but Sunday is the day when two heavyweights take to the field - one of which is Brazil (the other being Germany). The South American team were the first team to qualify for the World Cup and booked their tickets to Russia as early as March 2017.

LIVE | Brazil vs Switzerland

The Selecao are looking for redemption following their humiliating exit as hosts in 2014 when Germany beat them 7-1 in the semi-final. And this time they are one of the favourites to win the tournament

Brazil injury update

The Selecao will look to the inspirational Neymar to lead them during the campaign. His back injury at the 2014 World Cup had derailed their chances and there were fears he would miss the World Cup in Russia after he fractured his metatarsal and sprained his ankle with PSG.

The Brazilian forward was wheeled into surgery in March to get him up and running by the time the World Cup kicked off and, judging by his performances in the warm-up matches, he doesn't seem to have missed a beat with two goals - one each against Croatia and Austria.

But are two warm-up games (only 128 minutes) after three months out enough to warrant a start? According to Brazil coach Tite, Neymar isn't at full fitness yet.

"Neymar is not yet 100 percent. But physically, he is very privileged. His sprints, his speed are very impressive. He's not 100 percent yet... But he's good enough to play well." - Tite

Although not the toughest group, Brazil are in a tricky group with top spot far from guaranteed. Nevertheless, Tite will most likely start Neymar and seal the win before taking him off rather than risk playing him for 90 minutes.

Brazil Training and Press Conference
Fred is a doubt for the Switzerland game

The only other injury worry for Brazil is Manchester United's new signing Fred. The midfielder has not fully recovered from an ankle injury yet.

How will Brazil line up against Switzerland?

Ever since Tite took over the Selecao, Brazil have lost just once in 21 games - such has been his impact since he took over from Dunga who had overseen a poor start to the qualification campaign.

Alisson will start in goal with Marquinhos and Miranda as the centre-backs. Captain Marcelo will start at left-back while Danilo would be expected to start at right-back. However, Fagner could also get the nod.

Tite has changed his lineup when players are out of form and there is a possibility that Renato Augusto could be benched with Philippe Coutinho starting in midfield. That leaves Casemiro as the defensive midfielder shielding the defence with Paulinho playing in a box-to-box midfield role.

That would mean Willian getting a start on the right side of attack while Neymar takes his place on the left. There has been a big debate over who should lead the attack with Roberto Firmino having a great season with Liverpool but Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus will lead the line for Brazil.

Brazil XI and Formation

Brazil team Switzerland World Cup 2018
How Brazil could line up against Switzerland

UPDATE: CONFIRMED LINEUPS

Brazil XI vs Switzerland: Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho, Philippe Coutinho; Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar

Switzerland XI vs Brazil: Yann Sommer; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Fabian Schar, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez; Granit Xhaka, Valon Behrami; Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Dzemaili, Steven Zuber; Haris Seferovic.


What do you think the result will be? Let us know in the comments below.

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