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International Rugby

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brazil18Brazil have been drawn in Group E of the 2018 Fifa World Cup where they will meet Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica and we take a look at the form, squads and outright betting markets concerning each nation.

 

 

Note, odds quoted are an average price, accurate at the time of writing but subject to change

 

Brazil:

Qualification: Topped the South American qualifying group, finishing 10 points clear of second placed Uruguay

Form: Brazil had South American qualifying at their mercy, winning 12 matches, drawing 5 and losing just the 1 with 41 goals scored and just 11 conceded.

Brazil’s last major tournament was Copa America 2016 and despite a 7-1 thumping of minnows Haiti a 0-0 draw with Ecuador and 1-0 loss to Peru saw them fail to make it beyond the group stage.

As hosts of the World Cup 2014 finals Brazil came through their group with 2 wins and draw and then saw off Chile on penalty kicks and Colombia. A semi final meeting with Germany began and ended in disastrous fashion as they were hammered 7-1.

2018 friendly international form includes a 3-0 win over Russia and Brazil have also beaten Germany and Croatia.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians).

Defenders: Danilo (Manchester City), Fagner (Corinthians), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva, Marquinhos (both Paris St-Germain), Miranda (Inter Milan) Pedro Geromel (Gremio).

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Douglas Costa (Juventus).

Forwards: Neymar Jr (Paris St-Germain), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Betting:

To win the group 1 / 4

To qualify from the group 1 / 33

 

Switzerland:

Qualification: Finished second in their qualifying group before edging out Northern Ireland 1-0 over the 2 legs of their play off.

Form: Switzerland only missed out on topping their qualifying group on goals difference with Portugal just doing enough to take the direct route to Russia. Switzerland scored 23 goals and conceded 7 and both teams finished with a record of 9 wins and 1 defeat before their subsequent play off with Northern Ireland saw just the 1 goal scored.

In Euro 2016 Switzerland made it of the group stage with 1 win and 2 draws before losing a penalty shoot out to Poland in the first knockout round.

In World Cup 2014 wins over Ecuador and Honduras either side of a hiding from France saw Switzerland progress to the first knockout round where they lost 1-0 to Argentina in extra time.

Recent friendly international form is solid enough including a 6-0 demolition of Panama and a 1-1 draw with Spain.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach).

Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna).

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Steven Zuber (1899 Hoffenheim), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach).

Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica).

Betting:

To win the group 6/1

To qualify from the group 19/20

 

 

Serbia:

Qualification: Topped their qualifying group finishing 2 points clear of the Republic of Ireland and 4 in front of Wales.

Form: Serbia won 6 of their 10 qualifying matches, drawing 3 and losing just the 1. They scored 20 goals and conceded 10 to book their ticket to the finals, a mission they failed to achieve in 2014.

We last saw Serbia at the World Cup finals in South Africa 2010 and despite turning Germany over 1-0 in a group match, defeats to Australia and Ghana saw them exit the tournament early.

Serbia failed to make it to the Euro 2016 finals and friendly internationals this year comprise of defeats to Morocco and Chile but they did beat Nigeria.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar).

Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina).

Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade).

Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica).

Betting:

To win the group 15/2

To qualify from the group 12/10

 

Costa Rica:

Qualification: Finished as runners up in the final group stage in Central and North America qualifying, 5 points behind Mexico.

Form: Costa Rica won 4, drew 4 and lost 2 of their qualifiers, scoring 14 goals and conceding 8 to earn another crack at the finals after surprising many in Brazil 4 years ago.

In 2014 Costa Rica beat Uruguay (3-1) and Italy (1-0) alongside a 0-0 draw with England. They went on to beat Greece on penalty kicks in the knockout rounds before losing a subsequent shoot out with the Netherlands after a 0-0 draw.

Costa Rica participated in Copa America 2016 and despite beating Colombia 3-2 their hopes of emerging from the group had been damaged by a 0-0 draw with Paraguay and 4-0 loss to USA.

Friendly international form in 2018 is hit and miss and they have lost to 2 other finalists, England and Tunisia.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Patrick Pemberton (Liga Deportiva Alajuelense), Leonel Moreira (CS Herediano).

Defenders: Cristian Gamboa (Celtic), Ian Smith (Santos de Guapiles), Ronald Matarrita (New York City), Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland), Oscar Duarte (Espanyol), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Bologna), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), Johnny Acosta (Rionegro Aguilas).

Midfielders: David Guzman (Portland Timbers), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne-Sport), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruna), Randall Azofeifa (CS Herediano), Rodney Wallace (New York City), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon), Daniel Colindres, Christian Bolanos (both Deportivo Saprissa).

Forwards: Johan Venegas (Deportivo Saprissa), Joel Campbell (Real Betis), Marco Urena (Los Angeles FC).

Betting:

To win the group 35/2

To qualify from the group 7/2

 

Verdict:

I’m not going to take Brazil on and will rather look deep into the exotics for a pick. Switzerland and Serbia look solid enough to me and that leaves Costa Rica, real upset material 4 years ago, but I doubt they can repeat those heroics.

 

Bet: World Cup - Group Points Total Costa Rica, under 1.5 at 21/20

 

forumRemember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum

 

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