World Cup Group E Preview

Looking like Brazil plus one.

Brazil

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History

Brazil have participated in twenty World Cup finals, their first came in 1930 and they have since won five (58, 62, 70, 94, 2002). 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Alisson (Roma), Cássio (Corinthians), Ederson (Manchester City)
Defenders – Thiago Silva (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Pedro Geromel (Grêmio), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Manchester City), Fagner (Corinthians)
Midfielders – Casemiro (Real Madrid), Renato Augusto (Beijing Sinobo Guoan), Phillipe Coutinho (Barcelona), Paulinho (Barcelona), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Fred (Manchester United), Willian (Chelsea)
Forwards – Douglas Costa (Juventus), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Neymar (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Manager – Tite
Most Caps – Neymar (84)
Captain – 
Star Player – Neymar

Analysis

Brazil are probably one of the favourites to win the World Cup, their squad is exceptional and their forward line is probably the best in the world. Brazil won both of their friendlies and did not concede a goal. Neymar is back from his injury and is bang in form while players like Willian, Firmino, and Coutinho have had good seasons in their respective leagues. Brazil will be looking to make up for the embarrassment that was 2014, and when the time comes they will probably be in the semi-final.  

Switzerland

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History

Switzerland have been involved in ten World Cups, their first came in 1934 and their best finish in the competition has been to reach the quarter-finals in 1934, 38, and 54. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Yvon Mvogo (RB Leipzig), Roman Burki (Borussia Dortmund)
Defenders – Stephen Lichtsteiner (Arsenal), Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Michael Lang (Basel), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Fabian Schar (Deportivo La Coruna)
Midfielders – Remo Freuler (Atlanta), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Valon Behrami (Udinese), Steven Zuber (1899 Hoffenheim), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)
Forwards – Breel Embolo (Schalke 04), Haris Seferović (Benfica), Mario Gavranović (Dinamo Zagreb), Josip Drmić (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Manager – Vladimir Petkovic
Most Caps – Stephen Lichtsteiner (100)
Captain – Stephen Lichtsteiner
Star Player – Xherdan Shaqiri 

Analysis

Switzerland are a main stay in international competitions but tend to fall short when the competitions actually begin. Switzerland played two friendlies in preparation for the World Cup drawing one and winning the other. With Brazil a team above the rest in this group Switzerland have more than a chance to make it to the last 16. Shaqiri will be key as his trickery and shots can propel the team to a better finish in the competition. 

Costa Rica

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History

Costa Rica have participated in four World Cups, their first coming in 1990 and their best finish was to reach the quarter-finals in 2014. 

Team Preview

Goalkeepers – Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense), Leonel Moreira (Herediano)
Defenders – Johnny Acosta (Aguilas Doradas), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Bologna), Ian Smith (Norrkoping), Oscar Duarte (Espanyol), Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Cristian Gamboa (Celtic), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC)
Midfielders – Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruna), Christian Bolanos (Saprissa), Daniel Colindres (Saprissa), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon), Rodney Wallace (New York City FC), Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne), David Guzman (Portland Timbers)
Forwards – Johan Venegas (Saprissa), Joel Campbell (Real Betis), Marco Urena (Los Angeles FC)
Manager – Oscar Ramirez
Most Caps – Celso Borges (112)
Captain – Bryan Ruiz
Star Player – Bryan Ruiz

Analysis

In 2014 Costa Rica had a fairy tail World Cup by reaching the quarter-finals against all odds, they were unlucky to lose the quarter-finals on penalties. Costa Rica have played two friendlies till now having won one and lost the other, they are due to play one more against Belgium. Costa Rica should seek encouragement from 2014 and they are in a group which could see them finish second if they put in good performances. Anything more than a round of 16 place would be icing on the cake. 

Serbia

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History

Serbia have participated in ten World Cups, their first came in 1930 while their best finish in the competition has been fourth which they accomplished in 1930, and 1962. Their last World Cup came in 2010. 

Team Preview – 

Goalkeepers – Vladimir Stojković (Partizan), Predrag Rajković (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrović (Eibar)
Defenders – Antonio Rukavina (Villareal), Dusko Tosić (Besiktas), Uros Spajić (Anderlecht), Branislav Ivanović (Zenit), Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Milos Veljković (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodić (Red Star Belgrade), Nikola Milenković (Fiorentina)
Midfielders – Luka Milivojević (Crystal Palace), Andrija Zivković (Benfica), Dusan Tadić (Southampton), Marko Grujić (Liverpool), Filip Kostić (Hamburger SV), Sergej Milinković-Savić (Lazio), Nemanja Matić (Manchester United), Adem Ljajić (Torino)
Forwards – Aleksandar Prijović (PAOK), Aleksandar Mitrović (Fulham), Nemanja Radonjić (Red Star Belgrade), Luka Jović (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Manager – Mladen Krstajic
Most Caps – Branislav Ivanović (103)
Captain – Aleksandar Kolarov
Star Player – Branislav Ivanović

Analysis

Serbia are the favourites to qualify to the round of 16 along with Brazil, they have a brilliant squad and experience all around with the likes of Ivanović providing a solid foundation. Serbia have played two friendlies losing one and winning the other. The serbs are in a tough group but they have the quality and proper mixture of youth and experience to reach the knockout stages of the competition. 

 

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