Who? Brazil - Switzerland
Where? Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
When? June 17, 20:00 (CET local time)
Brazil (Vitor Buratini Mendes)
The wait ends on Sunday: after a depressing finish for 2014 World Cup, the Brazilian team returns to the biggest tournament in the world against Switzerland. Brazil and Switzerland has faced eight times in history , but only once in the World Cup: 2-2 draw in 1950.
Brazil is excited for the World Cup. They are undefeated in the last 11 matches and the Brazilian are expected to give a true show at the premiere. Nothing except from victory will be acceptable and Neymar will do anything to make it happen.
Neymar have one of the most entertaining playing style in the world. He has everything that is need to mess up the defense of Switzerland. Returning from injury in the friendly games before the tournament, the biggest Brazilian player nowadays scored two beautiful goals in the matches against Croatia and Austria. He will surely use his speed and skills over Lichtsteiner, who will probably not be able to stop him without making fouls.
The biggest problem of the Brazilian team is perhaps the right back. With the injury of Dani Alves, it is possible to see Danilo in the first XI. He is not a bad player, but he is not at the same level as the other lineup players. Therefore, he should become more aware to the Swiss attempts to make him as an easy target.
Even with this small problem, Brazil are the favourites in this clash. This way to start the World Cup has everything to give confidence to one of the biggest teams in the world, which will seek with all its strength to take back to the place they know so well and to blow away the ghosts of 2014. Neymar will not be afraid to face it, just as he is not afraid of any defender - these feelings may come, but Neymar will pass it.
Switzerland (Yossi Medina)
It is something that we need to get used to it, as Switzerland qualified for their fourth consecutive World Cup. They done it in the past, but one of these World Cups was 1954 campaign, which they hosted. It means that the Swiss managed to complete great four qualifying campaigns.
More than that Switzerland is usually qualifying for the knockout stage and can cause problems for major teams. They made a draw against France in 2006 and defeated Spain in 2010, two teams that will eventually reach the final. In such tournaments, Switzerland show their best skills and manage to play great even against teams that are considered as favorites.
Arsenal's Stephan Lichtsteiner will be one of most experienced players in the squad. As he probably will be in the starting XI, he can be the Swiss player with the most World Cup appearances, as he played 7 matches. He is also the only player in the Swiss squad to made 100 caps.
Another player that was significant four years ago and will like to make the same performance in this campaign is Xherdan Shaqiri. His hattrick against Ecuador in the last group stage match led Switzerland to another round of 16 appearance. With 20 international goals, Shaqiri's next one will make him as one of the top 10 goalscorers in the national team.