Soccer

SBI World Cup Preview Group G: Brazil headlines strong attacking group

Brazil’s star-studded squad headlines a tough Group G, but Serbia and Switzerland are two European sides aiming to make noise in Qatar.

A Seleção heads into Qatar as one of the key favorites to lift the tournament trophy, especially with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar leading the way. Neymar is joined by in-form talents Bruno Guimarares, Antony, and Casemiro, giving Brazil plenty of skill and experience up and down the roster.

Serbia’s attack is led by Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic, two of their productive forwards in Europe over the past two seasons. Dusan Tadic is one of the more experienced midfielders in this group and will be hoping to set up his teammates in a few victories.

Switzerland’s veteran leadership will try and help them achieve a deep run in Qatar. The Swiss have several key players returning for the World Cup, including Chicago Fire midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, and Borussia Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Cameroon returns to the World Cup after missing the 2018 edition and will rely on striker Vincent Aboubakar to spark its attack. Aboubakar is one of three Cameroonian players that have double-digit goals for their country and leads by a large margin over the others.

Here is a closer look at Group G:

Schedule

Thursday: Switzerland vs. Cameroon, Brazil vs. Serbia

Monday: Cameroon vs. Serbia, Brazil vs. Switzerland

December 2: Cameroon vs. Brazil, Serbia vs. Switzerland

Brazil

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Neymar, Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Jesus.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The five-time World Cup winners have not reached the semifinals or finals since 2002. Brazil reached the quarterfinals in 2018.

ROSTERGoalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton.

Defenders: Dani Alves, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, Bremer, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva.

Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes, Casemiro, Everton Ribeiro, Fabinho, Fred, Lucas Paqueta.

Forwards: Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Neymar, Pedro, Raphinha, Richarlison, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior.

OUTLOOK: Brazil brings top talent all throughout its squad and shouldn’t have much of a problem winning Group G. A strong mix of youth and experience will be seen throughout the squad with Neymar headlining the offensive attack and Thiago Silva and Dani Alves key options in defense.

No matter which way Brazil decides to lineup, they will have plenty of good players to choose from and can beat teams in a number of different ways. Premier League stars Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison, Antony, and Bruno Guimaraes have enjoyed strong first halves with their respective clubs and will now aim to carry that into an already dangerous attack.

Switzerland

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Xherdan Shaqiri, Ricardo Rodriguez, Granit Xhaka.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Switzerland have qualified for the World Cup in each of the past four editions, but haven’t advanced past the Round of 16 since 1954.

ROSTERGoalkeepers: Gregor Kobel, Yann Sommer, Jonas Omlin, Philipp Kohn.

Defenders: Manuel Akanji, Eray Comert, Nico Elvedi, Fabian Schar, Silvan Widmer, Ricardo Rodriguez, Edimilson Fernandes.

Midfielders: Michel Aebischer, Xherdan Shaqiri, Renato Steffen, Granit Xhaka, Denis Zakaria, Fabian Frei, Remo Freuler, Noah Okafor, Fabian Rieder, Ardon Jashari.

Forwards: Breel Embolo, Ruben Vargas, Djibril Sow, Haris Seferovic, Christian Fassnacht.

OUTLOOK: Switzerland has several key leaders returning to the squad and will be hard to break down with Yann Sommer in between the posts and Ricardo Rodriguez heading up the defense. The Swiss also have two 100+ caps winners in midfield with Granit Xhaka bringing aggressiveness to the squad, and Xherdan Shaqiri being one of the top two-way players in the tournament.

Although Haris Seferovic and Breel Embolo have both contributed double-digit goals for their country, the attack will be under a closer microscope than other places in the Swiss squad. If Switzerland can’t score consistently, then it could be a tough group for them to get out of.

Serbia

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Vlahovic, Sergei Milinkovic-Savic.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Serbia has only qualified for two World Cups as an independent nation, failing to get out of the group stage in both.

ROSTERGoalkeepers: Marko Dmitrovic, Predrag Rajkovic, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.

Defenders: Stefan Mitrovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Strahinja Pavlovic, Milos Veljkovic, Filip Mladenovic, Strahinja Erakovic, Srdjan Babic.

Midfielders: Nemanja Gudelj, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Sasa Lukic, Marko Grujic, Filip Kostic, Uros Racic, Nemanja Maksimovic, Ivan Ilic, Andrija Zivkovic, Darko Lazovic.

Forwards: Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Vlahovic, Filip Djuricic, Luka Jovic, Nemanja Radonjic.

OUTLOOK: Serbia has been an underrated squad for years now and for many of its proven leaders, it’s time to put it all together on the world’s biggest stage. Aleksandar Mitrovic has been deadly in attack for Serbia, scoring 50 goals in 76 caps for his country. The Fulham man will be joined by Dusan Vlahovic and Dusan Tadic in creating opportunities for the squad. Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will also be in the mix to helping Serbia be one of the top attacking units in Qatar.

Stefan Mitrovic and Nikola Milenkovic will anchor the backline for Serbia after logging over 35+ caps apiece for their country. Serbia will be a tough team to break down, especially with Mitrovic, Tadic, and Vlahovic seeking to wreak havoc on the other side of the field.

Cameroon

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Nicolas Nkoulou.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Cameroon is back after failing to make the 2018 World Cup. Their best-ever finish came in 1990 where they reached the quarterfinal round.

ROSTERGoalkeepers: Andre Onana, Devis Epassy, Simon Ngapandouetnbu.

Defenders: Jean-Charles Castelletto, Enzo Ebosse, Collins Fai, Olivier Mbaizo, Nouhou Tolo, Nicolas Nkoulou, Christopher Wooh.

Midfielders: Olivier Ntcham, Gael Ondoua, Martin Hongla, Pierre Kunde, Samuel Oum Gouet, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Jerome Ngom.

Forwards: Nicolas Ngamaleu, Christian Bassogog, Bryan Mbeumo, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Jean-Pierre Nsame, Vincent Aboubakar, Karl Toko-Ekambi, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Souaibou Marou.

OUTLOOK: Cameroon will be one of the entertaining teams in Qatar, especially with a dynamic attacking group in the mix to score many goals in Group G. Vincent Aboubakar headlines the attacking corps while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is no stranger to the bright lights of a top competition.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa is the leader of Cameroon’s midfield and will be racing around the field, covering every blade of grass if needed. Nicolas Nkoulou and Collins Fai bring several years of experience to the backline while MLS defenders Olivier Mbaizo and Nouhou Tolo seek minutes of their own. Cameroon is capable of pulling a few shocks in Group G, but have to stay strong defensively against offensive units that are better than them.

SBI Predicted Order of Finish

1. Brazil. The World Cup favorites will be tough to knock off in Group G.

2. Switzerland. Key core will be important as Switzerland aims to test Brazil for top spot.

3. Serbia. Underrated squad with deadly attacking duo could pose a threat.

4. Cameroon. Will be tough to get things going against three teams with stronger attacking units.

Will Brazil roll in Group G? Can Switzerland or Serbia pull an upset?

Share your thoughts below.

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