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Solid Switzerland take on Cameroon in opening Group G clash
Switzerland to win 1-0
Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Al Wakrah, Al Janoub StadiumBet Now
No country relishes facing Switzerland in international competition.
While they have never won a major competition, they are vastly experienced at this level and are not a team you would relish playing if you needed a win to go through.
They’ve qualified for the last five consecutive World Cups, including this one and usually make it through to the Round of 16. The Swiss will be aiming to go one better than that here.
Cameroon are one of the lowest ranked teams at the tournament, although you wouldn’t expect them to be pushovers here.
While they are the least likely of Group G to qualify for the knockout round, they are a proud African nation with a history of famous players and will want to make their mark on the tournament in Qatar.
With Brazil likely to qualify in 1st position, can either of these two claim three precious points.
FIFA Ranking: 15
Predicted Finish: Round of 16
Reasons to be cheerful:
Went unbeaten in qualifying
Fine mix of youth and experience throughout the squad
Reasons to be fearful:
They lack a world-class striker
Haven’t scored more than one goal in any of their last six games
While they have never made it to the latter stages of a major international tournament, Switzerland have been as present at these competitions over the years as any nation.
What usually lets the Swiss down is the lack of a genuine superstar striker, one that can score 20-plus goals a season for his club side, and it’s the same story again this year.
Although Breel Embolo possesses pace and power and Reuben Vargas and Haris Seferovic have the experience, none can be called great goalscorers.
They need to decide on their goalkeeper, too. Yann Sommer is their usual keeper, but hasn’t played in over a month due to injury.
The Swiss defence and midfield is where the strength is. With Manchester City’s Akanji at the back and Arsenal’s Xhaka in the middle, they have plenty of power.
Star Man – Breel Embolo
Was his country’s top scorer in qualifying with three, showing Switzerland’s lack of consistency upfront. He has pace and power to trouble the opposition, however.
FIFA Ranking: 43
Predicted Finish: Group Stage
Reasons to be cheerful
More World Cup appearances than any other African nation
One or two big-name players in their squad
Reasons to be fearful
Struggle to convert the chances they create
Have only been beyond the Group Stage once
Cameroon is a nation with a proud history of World Cup appearances, qualifying for the tournament on two more occasions than any other African country.
They’ve had some fine stars over the years – think Samuel Eto’o of Barcelona and Inter Milan, Geremi of Real Madrid and Chelsea and, of course, Roger Milla who made his name at the 1990 and 1994 tournaments.
However, despite this being their eighth appearances at the tournament, they’ve only reached the knockout stages once, in 1990.
Unfortunately for them, they find themselves in another tough group to progress from with the other three teams inside the top 21 in the world rankings.
Despite finishing 3rd at the latest Africa Cup of Nations, they struggled to score goals with any consistency. They’ve selected 10 players who can players across the frontline for this tournament in a bid to solve that.
Star Man – Karl Toko Ekambi
Ekambi scored five goals at AFCON this year and is usually the first name on the teamsheet. Cameroon could use some consistency from here over the next three games.
Switzerland’s power in midfield will control the game
Neither team is great in front of goal
The loser will struggle to qualify
If either team are to qualify for the knockout stages, particularly Cameroon, you feel that they need to win this game.
Switzerland will fancy their chances against Serbia and know that they can push Brazil hard in their contest. Cameroon will struggle to beat either of those nations later in the group.
With the quality that the Swiss have in defence and midfield, you fancy them as favourites.
Switzerland to win 1-0
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