Brazil enter the tournament as favourites as they aim to banish the memories of their home World Cup four years ago. They’ve earnt this tag thanks to their fantastic W17-D3-L1 record under Tite, who came in after their failure at Cope America 2016 and having breezed past Croatia and Austria in recent friendlies, where the returning Neymar scored in both, it’s difficult to look past them.
Switzerland are no mugs though, having lost just once in 17 fixtures since Euro 2016 and in our gradings are ranked 15th in the world. However, it must be said that that their qualifying group was particularly weak as they finished second to Portugal – the only other side ranked inside the top 50 – before a fortunate 1-0 aggregate success over Northern Ireland in their play-off.
They won one and lost one against Portugal, but Brazil are a different kettle of fish and having won five of six unbeaten matches against sides ranked between 11th-25th under Tite – the exception a 0-0 draw at Wembley with England – the Seleção should have too much for their opponents here.
Each of these six matches were accompanied with a clean sheet and half finished 2-0. The likes of Casemiro and Fernandinho do a fantastic job in shielding their back-line and they’ve conceded just five times in Tite’s 21 matches. There is an over-reliance on Xherdan Shaqiri to provide something special for the Swiss going forward, but they are organised under Vladimir Petkovic, never conceding more than twice in his 35 games in charge, as four of their seven defeats have finished 2-0.
There is no doubting Neymar is the main man for Brazil with 55 goals in 88 matches, but his presence means there is a little extra value in his team members. Despite playing fewer games in qualifying, Gabriel Jesus outscored Neymar and with nine from 16 already for Brazil, he’s excellent value at odds-against.