We take a look at three players who could potentially be crucial to the outcome of the Group E encounter between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Brazil and Switzerland are heavily tipped to be the two nations to get out from what looks like it will be a highly contested Group E. The two teams would like to start their campaign off on a positive note, knowing well enough that a result here could set them up nicely to advance from their Group.
There are expected to be an array of superstars present on the field for either side. But, we take a look at three players who could prove to be the difference on the day.
Xherdan Shaqiri was powerless to prevent Stoke City’s relegation from the Premier League. But, the explosive winger will be hoping for a better campaign at the World Cup with Switzerland. Shaqiri is the go-to man for the Swiss side in most attacking buildups and will be crucial should the nation have any chance of going long in Russia.
Brazil will pose the first threat – a threat that almost everyone at the World Cup is wary of. Shaqiri though, has the talent to put any defence to sword and will be looking to test his mettle against the experienced campaigners of Brazil. The player is likely to come up against Marcelo and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top there.
Alisson has big shoes to fill as far as the goalkeeping greats who have guarded the Brazil goal are concerned. The player has already generated interest from every top club through his performances for AS Roma and Tite would hope he can bring his club form to Russia.
David De Gea has already shown that even the best of players can fumble on the big stage. Tite and the entire fraternity of Brazil fans would hope Alisson doesn’t, especially against a Switzerland side that is unlikely to let any errors go unpunished.
Arguably the hottest profile right now, at the biggest stage in world football. The stage doesn’t get much grander. Ronaldo showed his big-game pedigree while Messi succumbed to his soft penalty-taking record.
Brazil has a history of enigmatic superstars leading them to the World Cup. Neymar, who is already the level with Romario for the number of goals scored for the Brazilian National Team, would hope he can etch his name alongside the likes of Pele, Ronaldo and others with a great performance in Russia.
Neymar did not get a chance to lead Brazil to the final in the 2014 edition after being injured in the Quarter-Finals. But, the Brazilian will be hungry to prove himself and his nation’s prowess in Russia. The match against Switzerland will also serve to show as to how fit Neymar actually is right now.