Brazil, one of the favourites to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, get their campaign up and running on Sunday (17 June) against Switzerland in Rostov. This should be an entertaining game between two sides bang in form, and has the potential to be one of the best games of the group stage.
First things first
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Where should I invest my cash?
Brazil are looking to put a sixth World Cup crown in their extensive trophy cabinet and come into the World Cup both settled and playing well. Tite’s side have won five of their last six games, and have won 17 of 21 since Tite took over in August 2016.
However, Switzerland are in almost as good form, winning four of their last six. That includes a draw against Spain, and a stalemate may well be their best chance of getting a result against Brazil as well.
Looking at the simplest bet you can make, on the outcome of the game, a draw is priced at 4.80. However, it is Brazil who are the clear favourites, and the five-time World Cup winners are priced short at just 1.40 to take all three points – Switzerland, by way of comparison, are all the way out at 9.50, according to Oddsshark.
Brazil will be keen to show that they are not overly reliant on their star man, Neymar. Centre forward Gabriel Jesus is priced at 17.00 to win the Golden Boot at the competition but is joint favourite with Neymar when it comes to hitting the back of the net in this clash.
Brazil are the favourites to lift the World Cup trophy with a price of 5.00 on them to do just that, so it is of no surprise that they are clear favourites to top Group E. Tite’s side are at just 1.28 to win the group while Switzerland, who are competing against Serbia and Costa Rica to reach the knock-out phase, are priced at 2.00 to progress to the round of 16.
Switzerland may have been in good form prior to the World Cup but they have faced few teams of the calibre of this Brazilian outfit. The South Americans are flying at present, and have scored 47 goals in 21 games at a rate comfortably above two goals per game.
Brazil will look to hit the ground running, and they won their last friendly against Austria 3-0. A repeat of that score line in Rostov is priced at 8.50 and may well be worth backing, especially with Neymar looking to prove he has fully recovered from the broken foot which kept him out of action for 98 days.
A 3-0 win for Brazil would then mean there would be more than 2.5 goals in the game, an option you could back at 2.10. If you believe there will be less than 2.5 goals then the price is slightly shorter at 1.60.
Brazil should ultimately win this game comfortably and the price for them to win by a three goal margin is 6.00. Switzerland’s best chance may well be to play for a draw and try to shut Brazil out, although the price for a goalless draw is a long one at 10.00
A goalless draw looks very unlikely, however. Brazil scored an average of 2.27 goals during the World Cup qualifying campaign, and with the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Willian backing up Gabriel Jesus and Neymar, the South American giants have more than one attacking outlet.
The last three games between Brazil and Switzerland have seen one win for each side and a draw, meaning it is even between them over the last few years. The last win for Brazil was in 2013 by a 1-0 score line, and that result this time would pay out at 5.50.
It really is difficult to look beyond Brazil for this one as they look to continue their excellent recent form. Gabriel Jesus, who will lead the line, is at 5.00 to score at least two goals, and is at 19.00 to hit a hat-trick. Neymar is at exactly the same price.
Odds: Brazil (1.40), Switzerland (9.50), draw (4.80)