World Cup 2018: Switzerland Team vs Brazil, Predicted XI
Switzerland's World Cup 2018 campaign begins when they take on Brazil in the second match of Group E later tonight. The Swiss had a phenomenal run in qualifying, winning nine games on the trot to move up to sixth in the world rankings. They also remained unbeaten across four warm-up games, securing an impressive 1-1 draw against Spain.
However, they will now come up against a whole different beast in tournament favourites Brazil. Coach Vladimir Petkovic though feels his side have the quality to come away with all three points. "For me as a coach, as a football teacher, a draw is not enough. We always try to achieve the maximum, to win, that is obviously the case, we will do everything to achieve this. If the opponent is better at performing on the pitch and we have to settle for a draw we will accept that. But we prefer to focus on winning and we have that ambition.”
Switzerland will be without their top striker Admir Mehmedi who has been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury. They have a decision to make on whether to start Haris Seferovic who has not been in the best of form for his nation. Breel Embolo is expected to make the cut. He will feature from the left while Shaqiri will line up on the right flank.
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has always exceeded expectations in the Swiss shirt and he will line up alongside Valon Behrami at the base of the midfield. The final midfield spot is a toss-up between Dzemaili and Zuber but with Dzemaili's far superior attacking prowess, he is likely to get the nod.
The backline is more or less settled. Captain and new Arsenal signing Stephan Lichtsteiner will occupy his usual right-back slot. Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji featured regularly for Switzerland in qualifying and will continue to start for the side in the middle of the defence while Ricardo Rodriguez slots in at left-back.
Switzerland Probable XI: Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Behrami; Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Embolo; Seferovic.