At 00:00 on November 29th, Beijing time, the final match of the second round of Group G of the 2022 Qatar World Cup group stage began. Five-star Brazil played against Switzerland. In this game, as long as either Brazil or Switzerland wins, they will have a chance to qualify early; due to Neymar’s injury, Brazil coach Tite must make a decision, either to find a suitable substitute, or to change. If Brazil can remain unbeaten, then their unbeaten World Cup group stage games will be extended to 17 games.
The two teams have clashed 9 times in the history of A-level competitions. Brazil has a slight advantage with 3 wins, 4 wins and 2 losses. However, Switzerland has only 1 win, 1 draw and 2 losses in the last 4 games. The most recent confrontation between the two sides was in the 2018 World Cup group stage in Russia, when Coutinho helped Brazil take the lead, and Zuber then equalized for Switzerland; in that competition, Brazil and Switzerland finally qualified together and advanced to the top 16 of the World Cup. It should be pointed out that there are still many players who participated in this game in the current lineups of the two teams. In the first round of the World Cup group stage, Brazil beat Serbia 2-0 and Switzerland beat Cameroon 1-0. The Samba currently ranks first with a goal difference advantage, and Switzerland temporarily ranks second.
Aspect 1: Brazil hits the World Cup group stage without defeat in 17 games
Since the 1998 World Cup in France, Brazil has never lost in the group stage. So far, it has remained unbeaten in 16 consecutive World Cup group matches, with a record of 13 wins and 3 draws. The last time Brazil lost a World Cup group match dates back to the third round of the 1998 World Cup group match in France. At that time, they lost 1-2 to Norway after qualifying ahead of schedule. One defeat, the remaining 39 games were 31 wins and 8 draws. It is worth mentioning that Brazil has remained unbeaten in the last 16 A-level matches, with 13 wins and 3 draws, of which the last 8 games have all won. In fact, Brazil has only 1 loss in the past 30 A-level matches, with a record of 25 wins, 4 draws and 1 loss.
Aspect 2: Brazil is expected to qualify ahead of schedule if it wins
In this game, if Brazil can beat Switzerland, then the Samba Army is expected to advance to the top 16 of the World Cup. The additional condition is that in another game, Serbia remains unbeaten against Cameroon. Conversely, if Switzerland can beat Brazil, they also have a chance to advance to the top 16 of the World Cup. The additional condition is that Cameroon remains unbeaten against Serbia. For Brazil, the last time it was able to get out of the group stage ahead of schedule dates back to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In fact, from the 1982 World Cup in Spain to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Brazil has achieved 8 consecutive competitions. Qualifying, this is their exclusive record. However, in the past two World Cups, Brazil broke through in the final round.
Aspect 3: Neymar injured, can Brazil carry the banner?
Despite a 2-0 victory over Serbia to get off to a good start, Brazil suffered a heavy loss. Neymar was violated nine times in the game and eventually left the field injured. It is reported that Neymar’s ankle is swollen, and his injury made him bid farewell to the group stage in advance. He will not be able to return until the top 16 of the World Cup at the earliest. Neymar’s injury is a heavy blow to Brazil, because he is the absolute core and spiritual leader of the Samba Army. In the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, it was because of Neymar’s injury that the Samba Army collapsed in the semifinals. Therefore, Brazil coach Tite must make a decision and arrange tactics when Neymar is absent. Maybe he will change his formation and switch to engineers in the midfield to strengthen the defense.
Aspect 4: Swiss Ragnarok goes all out
From 2004 to 2022, the Swiss football team once again ushered in a climax, participating in the World Cup five times in a row, missing only one of the five European Cups, and won the fourth place in the UEFA Europa League in 2019. However, the Swiss team has an embarrassment at this stage, that is, they are short of players. The players they can recruit are a group of veterans. This competition is very likely to be their last World Cup, the curtain call of the golden generation. Goalkeeper Sommer is 33 years old, left back Ricardo Rodriguez is 30 years old, central defender Scheer is 30 years old, striker thigh Shaqiri is 30 years old, captain Xhaka is 30 years old, Floyler is 30 years old, Steffen 30 years old, Fabian Frey 33 years old, Zubair 31 years old, Seferovic 30 years old… Most of these players are estimated to be difficult to appear in the next World Cup. Shaqiri has even gone American League “Pension”.
Public opinion before the game
Brazil coach Tite: I believe they can continue to participate in the World Cup. From a medical point of view, I have nothing to say. I’ve also been learning about the treatment, not only Neymar’s, but also Danilo’s. It seems to be more optimistic. I believe they can be used in the World Cup. Brazil relies on every great talent, and Neymar is an extraordinary one, of course it also depends on the preparation of others. How to deal with Neymar’s absence? You have to think outside the box, and you have to live the same life. Each of the 26 players has their own situation and important value. You can’t escape this situation, we’ve beaten a lot of people in this passive way, I was asked why I hugged the coaching staff[when winning]it also shows the importance of teamwork. Those who have experienced high-level competitive sports cherish this condition even more. People are used to making conservative decisions in the face of pressure. The coach will not ruin the health of the players, but sometimes they make wrong decisions. Like I did with Danilo, I made a mistake and should have made another substitution.
Switzerland coach Murat – Jakin: We are ready to play a beautiful game tomorrow. One of Brazil’s most difficult opponents, we want to focus on our strengths. I hope the team can get off to a good start, like it did with Cameroon. The team has to play aggressively and get a good result. Neymar out due to injury? We must focus on ourselves. In a game like this, you always want these world-class stars to play, but Brazil’s personnel reserves can produce three powerful striker combinations. That goal by Richarlison, it was a fantastic goal and we watch football for these moments. But I hope it doesn’t happen again tomorrow, they can’t have these chances, we can’t give them space to score these goals.
Brazil: Neymar (injured), Danilo (injured), Anthony (injured), Paqueta (injured)
Brazil (4-3-3): 1- Alisson/13-Alves, 4- Marquinhos, 3- Thiago Silva, 6- Alex Sandro/17- Ji Maraes, 5- Casemiro, 8- Fred/11- Rafinha, 9- Richarlison, 20- Vinicius
Switzerland (4-2-3-1): 1-Somer/3-Widmer, 5-Akanji, 4-Elvedi, 13-Ricardo-Rodriguez/8-Fro Iller, 10-Zhaka/23-Shaqiri, 15-Sou, 17-Vargas/7-Embolo
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