Brazil v Switzerland
TOURNAMENT favourites Brazil enter the stage on Sunday and they'll be hoping that their World Cup 2018 debut is less dramatic than their last performance in the competition.
It's been a long four years since the Selecao fluffed their lines in the most embarrassing way in a 7-1 semi-final humbling at the hands of eventual champions Germany in their own backyard, but they've regrouped since that tragedy and if everything clicks they could justify top-billing come July 15th.
The old Samba swagger is back and they're playing football with a smile on their face once again. They breezed through qualification, becoming the first team to qualify for Russia and I'd expect they'll make it out of Group E without too much drama.
It might surprise a few to learn that Swizerland are ranked 6th in the world. That's largely down to a near flawless perfomance in qualifying, where they suffered just one defeat; away to Portugal. Athough tied with Portugal on the same number of points they finished second and had to overcome Northern Ireland in a Play-Off to secure their place at the finals.
In a group that also included Hungary, Faroe islands, Latvia and Andorra it's difficult to guage just how impressive their qualification campaign was.
Russia aside, no-one has managed a convincing win at the tournament so far (at the time of writing), so I'm trying to stop myself from getting carried away with Brazil's chances here. It's hard to deny their attacking flair however, and although Neymar is the star man he has a strong supporting cast around him in the likes of Jesus, Coutinho and Willian.
With a point to prove, I expect Brazil will win this one and they might do so with a goal or two to spare but my best bet is the country's fourth top scorer of all-time, Neymar, to find the net during the 90 minutes.
- Neymar to score anytime 5/6 (Bet365)
- Brazil 3 Switzerland 0 9/1 (Bet365)
- Neymar 3/1 (Bet365)
- 1st half result – Brazil
- Over 2 total goals
- Neymar to score anytime
- Under 10 Brazil corners
- Under 4 cards combined
- 11/2 (Bet365)