Monday, June 17, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Must win games for Brazil, Nigeria, and Switzerland

Brazil will start off as strong favorites and anything less than a victory will be considered an upset

Update : 22 Jun 2018, 01:15 PM

Although there was a fear that Neymar might miss the next match with an injury during training, he's been back for final training on the eve of Brazil's crucial encounter with Costa Rica. The Selecao will be able to field their first XI choice with the coach. He is most likely to choose the same team he did against Switzerland.

Costa Rica on the other hand, did not look like the same threat they were 4 years ago in Brazil, losing 1-0 against Serbia. They will expect the likes of Brian Ruiz and Joel Campbell to step up if the Central Americans are to gain anything from this game.

Brazil will start off as strong favorites and anything less than a victory will be considered an upset. Brazil won nine of their 10 previous internationals against Costa Rica, losing only a friendly in March 1960.

This is the third match between Brazil and Costa Rica at the World Cup, with Brazil inflicting Costa Rica’s first ever defeat at the tournament in 1990 (1-0), before a 5-2 victory in 2002.

Brazil expected XI: Allison; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho; Willian, Coutinho, Neymar; Jesus.

Costa Rica Expected XI: Navas; Gamboa, Acoste, Gonzalez, Duarte, Oviedo; Venegas, Guzman, Borges, Bryan; Urena.

Iceland, one of the biggest surprises at the 2016 EURO's, will look to continue their positive momentum after securing a 1-1 draw against Messi's Argentina. The country with a population of just 3.5 lakh will face the Super Eagles of Nigeria next, who have lost their first game 2-0 against Croatia.

Iceland and Nigeria have faced off only once in an international friendly, with Iceland winning 3-0. Coach Hallgrimsson has revealed that winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson isn't expected to recover in time to play. Gudmundsson tore his calf muscle in Iceland's 1-1 draw against Argentina.

Leicester's Ahmed Musa could start for Nigeria after coming off the bench in their opening game. Nigeria will want more from their star players Jon Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, and Alex Iwobi, if they are to get a favorable result from this match.

Although, with 10% of their population in Russia to support their team in the World Cup, the Icelanders are expected to win this game.

Serbia vs Switzerland is a difficult one to predict as both teams head into this match on the back of positive results. The Serbians won their match 1-0 against Costa Rica, thanks to a brilliant goal on a free kick by Aleksandar Kolarov.

While Switzerland managed to hold off Brazil to a 1-1 draw, they will rely on their wingbacks, Stephan Lichsteiner and Ricardo Rodriguez, to help out in defense and in attack. This will be the first match between Serbia (as an independent nation) and Switzerland. They faced the Swiss 13 times as Yugoslavia, winning six (D5 L2).

Switzerland has lost just one of its last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in a World Cup qualifier in October 2017.

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