- Costa Rica
WorldCupAcca Confirmed Squad:
Keepers: R. Buerki, Y. Mvogo, Y. Sommer
Defence: M. Akanji, J. Djourou, N. Elvedi, M. Lang, S. Lichtsteiner, JF. Moubandje, R. Rodriguez, F. Schaer
Midfield: V. Behrami, B. Dzemaili, G. Fernandes, R. Freuler, X. Shaqiri, G. Xhaka, S. Zuber, D. Zakaria
Forward: J. Drmic, B. Embolo, M. Gavranovic, H. Seferovic
Switzerland are ranked 6th in the world. 6th. Ahead of France, Spain, Italy, England, Colombia etc. etc. Absolute joke them FIFA rankings.
In a previous article on Brazil we touched on the Swiss boosting their rank through nothing friendlies, this will be there 4th consecutive appearance at the finals having secured a 1-0 aggregate win over Northern Ireland.
In their 10 appearance in the finals themselves, Switzerland’s best finish came in 1934 when they reached the quarters, though they only had to win 1 match to get there to be fair, 3-2 vs The Netherlands for the useless trivia fans out there.
Switzerland had a strong showing in their initial qualification campaign finishing level on points with Portugal winning 9 from 10 matches, however the Portuguese finished with goal difference of +28 compared to +16 for the Swiss.
This led Switzerland to the play-offs were they faced Northern Ireland, they won 1-0 in Belfast thanks to a Ricardo Rodriguez penalty, the decision to award the penalty was dubious to say the least, then the return leg in Basel finished goalless.
WorldCupAcca The Squad:
Switzerland, who arrive at this tournament in pretty much the same shape they’re always in.
They possess a decent keeper in Yann Sommer and have a good defensive record despite fairly average centre-backs, however their full-back duo of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ricardo Rodriguez are both very good players. Rodriguez’s set-piece delivery in particular may prove very handy.
In midfield Switzerland are combative and protect the defence well, but lack creativity. Blerim Dzemaili looks set to play the most advanced role when he’s really more of a deep midfielder, which just about sums up the situation for them
The main source of creativity, of course, comes from Xherdan Shaqiri, who has a history of big performances at international tournaments, scoring a hattrick four years ago and a memorable bicycle kick at Euro 2016. He’ll drift inside regularly whilst Lichtsteiner will try to overlap keeping the width, though at 34 it may be a struggle.
There’s too much dependence upon Shaqiri. Breel Embolo is an exciting young player and provides some pace, though he has endured a difficult season with Schalke and is yet to hit consistent form, he may find himself on the bench with Steven Zuber starting on the left.
Haris Seferovic will most likely start up front, he was their top scorer in qualifying with 4 goals but generally speaking he just doesn’t score enough goals, which is the achilles heel for the team as a whole.
WorldCupAcca The Group:
Winning this group should really be a formality for Brazil, even if Neymar is not at 100% with the squad depth they have, the strength of the base of their team will allow the likes Coutinho, Douglas Costa, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus to cause all sorts of problems for the rest of these teams.
Last time out Costa Rica surprised a few but don’t get carried away. Italy and England were a pair of absolute bottle jobs in that group and then they struggled with 2 games going to penalties against Greece and an average Netherlands side.
Their qualifying campaign didn’t offer us any real surprises other than Panama qualifying ahead of the USA but results this year a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia and a 1-0 victory over Scotland.
This along with their Gold Cup performance in 2017 isn’t exactly inspiring stuff, other than a 3-0 win over French Guiana, they managed a draw against Canada, along with a couple of 1-0 wins over Honduras and Panama before bowing out to the USA.
Serbia are an interesting one, physically strong with players such as Ivanovic, Matic and Mitrovic. They sacked their previous manager after qualifying for picking heavily experienced players over the likes of Milinkovic-Savic who starred in previous youth tournaments and with Lazio all season. I can see them sneaking through in second place.
WorldCupAcca Betting Tips:
World Cup Group E Fixtures / Results
|Cosmos Arena, Samara – June 17, 2018 4:00 pm|
|Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don – June 17, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg – June 22, 2018 3:00 pm|
|Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad – June 22, 2018 8:00 pm|
|Spartak Stadium, Spartak Stadium – June 27, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod – June 27, 2018 9:00 pm|
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