Switzerland and Brazil are the favourites to progress from Group E, which also contains Serbia and Costa Rica, so this match should in theory be a match between two high quality teams. In truth, Switzerland are a very good side and would go close to topping most groups at the World Cup, however they are no match for the might of Brazil. The South Americans aren’t just a high quality team, they are team who should win the WC.
It seems that the pain of the 7-1 capitulation against Germany in 2014 has long been forgotten, as Brazil have been almost flawless since. Yes they failed to win the Copa America during this time and yes they got off to the worst start in qualifying by losing their opening match, but since then the five-time champions have been professional and emphatic. They managed 12 wins and five draws to qualify with games to spare.
Switzerland too were sizzling hot during qualification, and would have qualified automatically from almost any other UEFA group. They won nine of their ten matches, falling second to Portugal on goal difference, before nervously but successfully getting past Northern Ireland in their play-off. Impressively, they kept eight clean sheets during their twelve matches, including one match against Cristiano Ronaldo’s side.
While we believe Switzerland will inevitably progress to the second round of the tournament ahead of Serbia and Costa Rica, which will make it three times in their last four attempts, there is no chance that they will get their campaign off to a winning start. Brazil are a powerhouse who have won their last nine consecutive opening matches at the World Cup, and will almost certainly get the win here.
Brazil are priced at -284 in the head to head market, which isn’t actually too bad considering we think they have a 100% chance of winning this match. If you think Switzerland can put on a defensive masterclass and hold on for a draw, you can get +388, while the unlikely Swiss win offers +747.
The most difficult question is regarding the scoreline. Previous trends suggest Brazil are likely to allow their opposition to score, although against Switzerland we expect a low scoring affair. We are going to go with a 1-0 victory to the favourites, to be scored in the second half of play.