FIFA World Cup 2018 | Group E: Brazil, Switzerland to Come on Top
Here’s The Quint’s round up of the teams in Group E ahead of the FIFA World Cup, which begins on 14 June.
There is no points for guessing who is topping Group E. Five-time World Champions Brazil will surely ace the group. The big question is who will tag along with them?
Will it be Switzerland, Costa Rica or Serbia – the other three nations in the group?
What a turnaround it has been for Tite and Co. After the 7-1 rout against Germany in the semi-finals at home in 2014, the side has done well to top the World Cup qualification with 41 points. They recorded 12 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss and conceded only 11 times in their 18 qualifiers.
Coach Tite will be spoilt for choices as far as attack is concerned
Neymar is back, that is a great news for the side, and he scored a goal in their 2-0 win against Croatia. Gabriel Jesus, Willian, Firmino are also there.
Midfield also looks nice with Paulinho, Philippe Countinho. However, Fred has injured himself during practice. In defence Thiago Silva will be their main stay, ably supported by Marcelo
Dani Alves will be missed. His replacement Danilo will have to fill in some big shoes.
More or less, it will an easy passage for the five-time World Champions.
However, Tite will be looking to utilise the group stages to get the right balance before the knock out stages.
The Group E fixtures commence with Costa Rica facing Serbia on 17 June at the Samara Arena, as well as Brazil clashing against Switzerland on the same day.
Switzerland will most probably be the next team to qualify from the group. Forward Haris Seferovic did not play for too long in 2018 and could struggle in Russia.
Therefore, Xherdan Shaqiri and young Breel Embelo in the midfield might need to do most of the task. In defense, 22-year-old Manuel Akanji might be the surprise package, already starting for Borrussia Dortmund.
Coming to the next two teams in the group. Serbia and Costa Rica are two different types of sides. Costa Rica made it to the quarter-final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Fans will be expecting a similar performance.
Costa Rica are very strong defensively, whereas the Serbians are loaded in their attack.
With five defenders, Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas will lead the charge. Bryan Ruiz will hold the midfield.
Meanwhile, for Serbia the duo of Nemanja Matic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will hold the fort upfront but it may not be enough to take them past the group stages.
Brazil's 23-man final squad : Alisson, Ederson, Cassio; Danilo, Fagner, Marcelo, Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Miranda, Pedro Geromel; Casemiro, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Fred, Renato Augusto, Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Douglas Costa; Neymar, Taison, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino
Switzerland's 23-man final squad: Roman Buerki, Yvon Mvogo, Yann Sommer; Manuel Akanji, Johan Djourou, Nico Elvedi, Michael Lang, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Jacques-Francois Moubandje, Ricardo Rodriguez, Fabian Schaer; Valon Behrami, Blerim Dzemaili, Gelson Fernandes, Remo Freuler, Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Steven Zuber, Denis Zakaria; Josip Drmic, Breel Embolo, Mario Gavranovic, Haris Seferovic
Costa Rica's 23-man final squad: Keylor Navas, Patrick Pemberton, Leonel Moreira, Cristian Gamboa, Ian Smith, Ronald Matarrita, Bryan Oviedo, Oscar Duarte, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Francisco Calvo, Kendall Waston, Johnny Acosta, David Guzman, Yeltsin Tejeda, Celso Borges, Randall Azofeifa, Rodney Wallace, Bryan Ruiz, Daniel Colindres, Christian Bolanos, Johan Venegas, Joel Campbell, Marco Urena
Serbia's 23-man final squad: Vladimir Stojkovic, Predrag Rajkovic, Marko Dmitrovic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Antonio Rukavina, Milan Rodic, Branislav Ivanovic, Uros Spajic, Milos Veljkovic, Dusko Tosic, Nikola Milenkovic; Nemanja Matic, Luka Milivojevic, Marko Grujic, Dusan Tadic, Andrija Zivkovic, Filip Kostic, Nemanja Radonjic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Adem Ljajic; Aleksandar Mitrovic, Aleksandar Prijovic, Luka Jovic
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