Can a Neymar-less Brazil beat a well-organised Switzerland in the world cup?

Brazil will face a determined Swiss team looking to qualify for the round of 16 without their star player Neymar.

Who: Brazil vs Switzerland, Group G

Where: Stadium 974

When: Monday at 19:00 (16:00 GMT)

FIFA Rankings: Brazil 1, Switzerland 15

Brazil, boosted by a 2-0 win against Serbia in their opening game, will be looking to book their place in the round of 16 when they take on a well-trained team from Switzerland.

They will be without their star player Neymar, who suffered an ankle injury during Brazil’s opening game and has been ruled out for two games.

Richarlison impressed against Serbia, scoring a brace in the second half, taking his tally to nine goals in seven appearances for Brazil. His second point, a stunning acrobatic right foot volley, is arguably the goal of the tournament so far.

Neymaryar Jr.
Neymar, who is two goals away from matching PelĂ© as the top scorer in Brazil’s history, will miss the next two games [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Switzerland will no doubt be encouraged by Serbia’s defensive display in the first half, which kept Brazil at bay and required a moment of individual brilliance to break the deadlock.

Brazil are ranked number one in the world, but they lacked any real flair and creativity against a lackluster Serbia, who were unable to offer any real moments of emotion.

Switzerland are hardworking and disciplined and have been hard to beat in recent years. As is well known, they knocked out France at Euro 2020, leaving the world champions to fight each other on their way out of the tournament.

Here in Qatar, Switzerland beat Cameroon 1-0 in a cautious first game. Breel Embolo scored the only goal of the game after a perfect pass into the box from former Liverpool and Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri.

Embolo Celebrates His Goal With Switzerland
Swiss Breel Embolo, born in Cameroon, did not celebrate his goal against his native country in the opening game [Carl Recine/Reuters]

Brazil are the favorites for this match, but without Neymar’s creativity, they could struggle against a Swiss team that boasts a solid defense and some impressive results in recent months, including victories against Spain and Portugal.

Danilo will also miss the Brazil game after picking up an injury. Dani Alves, 39, will take his place on the right side. Fred from Manchester United is likely to be brought in to provide some defensive cover.

Swi Against Bra
Al Jazeera’s AI predictor Kashef backs Brazil to win.

Brazil could make history if they avoid defeat to Switzerland. They are unbeaten in their previous 16 World Cup group stage matches, last losing nearly a quarter of a century ago in the first round to Norway in 1998. No team has gone through 17 group stage matches without a defeat.

The two teams have met in two previous World Cups in 1950 and 2018 with both matches ending in a draw. If Brazil or Switzerland break that pattern on Monday, they are guaranteed a place in the next round.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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