World Cup betting sometimes turns things on their head. For instance, King John VI of Portugal authorized the entry into Brazil of Swiss immigrants in 1818. Come June, however, it will be Brazilians doing the entry on the Swiss. Entry of goals, that is. The Verde-Amarela ranks second in the World behind, and is tied for favorite to win the 2018 World Cup with, Germany, while Switzerland is 8th in the FIFA ranking, which is not too shabby either, all things considered. PSG forward Neymar, like quite a few people betting on the World Cup, is excited about the teams Brazil got as well as those they didn’t get. “I am happy it wasn’t a group where we had to play against African teams like Nigeria. They run a lot and are very physical in their approach. We are no doubt still up against strong sides at the World Cup,” he said.
17 June 2018 21:00 MSK (UTC+3)
Brazil vs. Switzerland
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
And speaking of Neymar, head coach Tite said it would not be an ideal situation for the entire team to revolve around the former Barcelona player. “But for Neymar to do what is expected of him, the whole team has to be strong,” the manager said. “It is inhumane to place [it all] on the back of the [sic] Neymar the responsibility for the success or failure of the team. And I’m not going to do that.” Unfortunately he didn’t add, in his best George H.W. Bush voice, “wouldn’t be prudent.” He did add, though, that “Switzerland, is one of the best-placed teams in the FIFA ranking. They have a well-armed team with great players. Liechsteiner, who plays for Juventus of Turin, is on top. Xhaka is Arsenal’s midfielder, and he has a lot of quality as a player. Shaqiri [Stoke City], the same. It is an experienced team.”
Experienced and youthful at the same time. Like we in the World Cup betting biz like to say, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love; they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. that notwithstanding, Swiss soccer is going through a sort of renaissance itself, producing such players as Ricardo Rodriguez, Granit Xhaka, Haris Seferovic (who all were in the Switzerland squad that won the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup), Fabian Schaer, and Xherdan Shaqiri, who, having already participated a World Cup and a European championship, are wise beyond their young age, though they are still prone to making rookie mistakes.
For example, Xhaka has tendency for misplaced passes and red cards, captain Stephan Lichtsteiner is an emotional ticking bomb, and striker Haris Seferovic often misfires. Coach Vladimir Petkovic has stressed the importance of going toe-to-toe with whomever their facing, though in all honesty that included, in the World Cup qualifiers, lightweights like Andorra, Faroe Islands, Latvia and a Hungary. On the other hand, they struggled with Northern Ireland and were taken to school by Portugal, which doesn’t bode well for their World Cup betting odds against a certain other Portuguese speaking country.