Brazil are favourites, Serbia to prove a point, as Switzerland are no pushovers


It feels almost like de-ja vu, as Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia are in the same group once again.

The three teams were all placed into the same group at the 2018 World Cup, and the exact same thing has happened again this time round.

The only difference being Costa Rica have been replaced by Cameroon for the 2022 showpiece in Qatar.

Four years ago, the top two teams, Brazil and Switzerland, advanced to the round of 16. The question is now can we read too much into the last World Cup to determine how Group G will turn out.

Sportsmail takes a look at how the teams fared against each other just in 2018 and what favourites Brazil and the others may have learnt from those games.

Brazil will remain favourites and be expected to top the group once again, much like they did in 2018.

It was not all plain sailing, however, as they only managed to win two of their three group-stage clashes. One being a draw with Switzerland.

They started off with a 1-1 draw against the Swiss after Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring in the 20th minute of play, but his effort was cancelled out by Steven Zuber just five minutes into the second half.

Brazil redeemed themselves with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica in their second outing Coutinho and Neymar both notching stoppage time goals in the 91st and 97th minute respectively after struggling to find the net in normal time.

They finished off the group stage with another 2-0 win over Serbia with Paulinho and Thiago Silva getting themselves on the scoresheet.

Tite’s side then sealed a win over Mexico in the knockout stages before crashing out in the quarter-finals to Belgium with a 2-1 defeat.

Brazil have more options in attack and throughout the squad this time round, but should have learned not to take anyone lightly, especially Switzerland.

Serbia will be determined to prove a point this time round after struggling four years ago with just one win and two defeats.

It all started well for the Serbians as they began the 2018 World Cup with a narrow 1-0 victory over Costa Rica thanks to left back Aleksandar Kolarov.

It went downhill, however, against both Brazil and Switzerland who they will come up against once again. Therefore they’ll be keen to show that they’re better than they were last time round.

Losing 2-1 to Switzerland and 2-0 to Brazil to finish bottom of Group E. Serbia have improved drastically in the last four years with way more depth in their squad.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is having a terrific season for Fulham in the Premier League as well as producing on the international stage.

Mitrovic alongside Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic is an attack to scare anyone, let alone the midfield options of Filip Kostic, Dusan Tadic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

They’ll know they have the ability to perform and pick up better results than last time, especially if their recent performances arecanything to go by.

Switzerland will be hoping to prove once again that they are no pushovers after going against the odds to draw with Brazil and progressing out of the group-stages as runners-up.

It was a dream start for the Swiss who held their own against Brazil to nab a 1-1 draw thanks to a Zuber’s equaliser in their opening fixture.

They continued going from strength-to-strength with a 2-1 victory over Serbia in their second match with goals from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri.

The final game saw them draw 2-2 with Costa Rica to cement their place in the last-16 of the competition.

The magical journey for Switzerland ended at the next hurdle with a 1-0 loss to Sweden as Emil Forsberg scored in the 66th minute of the clash.

Switzerland will therefore be hoping for similar success against both Brazil and Serbia four years on. This time they’ll have a new challenge against Cameroon instead of Costa Rica is the only difference.

They’ll know they can compete and challenge anyone in the group once again just like last time.


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