Current FIFA ranking: 8
World Cup appearances: Like the 10th in 2018
2014 World Cup: Round of 16
When anyone talks about Switzerland, we start to imagine the beautiful scenes of natural beauty surrounded by snow and mountains. Perhaps, most of us don’t know this country of natural beauty has the regular presence in the highest level of football since the beginning. They are the quarterfinalist of 1934, 38 and 54, this team made a unique record in the 2006 World Cup. Without conceding a single goal, they were eliminated from the round of 16 of that World Cup after losing against Ukraine in the tiebreaker. They are the only team who were eliminated from the World Cup without coinciding a single goal in the whole tournament.
Switzerland was in the group B of European region In the qualifying event of the Russia World Cup, and the Swiss have played exceptionally well throughout the qualifying round. They finished the qualifiers with the equal number of points in their group’s top-seeded Portugal, but they were forced to play the playoffs due to the goal distance. Swisses confirm the World Cup finals with a victory against Northern Ireland with a 1-0 scoreline in the Playoff Aggregate.
Xherdan Shaqiri is the main hope for the Swiss team. Though he could not hopefully rank his football career, he is always outstanding in Switzerland’s jersey. The team is also expecting something very exceptional from him in this World Cup. And because of the winger like the captain Stephan L, the team’s attacking options become quite versatile. For Granit Xhaka, this is a perfect opportunity to prove himself again on big occasions like World cup finals. All of them are at the peak time of their career.
Switzerland World Cup Squad
COACH: Vladimir Petkovic
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).
Current FIFA Rankings: 34
World Cup appearance: 12th time in 2018 (2nd as Serbia)
World Cup 2014: Did not Qualify
Serbia has participated in 10 World Cups till 2006 as a part of former Yugoslavia and Serbia &Montenegro. In 2006, after being separated from Montenegro, they played their first World Cup as independent Serbia in the 2010 World Cup. However, both FIFA and UEFA have considered Serbia as the successor of former Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro, that’s why they are in their 12th World Cup unless it will be their second World Cup appearance.
Serbia has won the ticket of Russia World Cup as the top choice for the D group in the qualification of the European region. Although their group was relatively easy, they had to wait for the final ticket to Russia until they beat Ireland in the last round.
Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic and Alexander Mitrovic who spent most of the time in Newcastle’s reserve benchmark seems to be the biggest power of Serbia. They have also stars like Manchester United’s Nikunja Matic and Milan’s Milan-Scotch-Sevich in the team. And the captain Branislav Ivanovic is leading the team from the front, which is a very positive sign for the team.
Serbia World Cup Squad
COACH: Mladen Krstajic
GOALKEEPERS: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar).
DEFENDERS: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS 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 SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade).
FORWARDS: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica).
As Brazil’s group partner, the Swiss team will have to cross the barrier of Serbia and Costa Rica to reach the next round. In that case, the Swisses are quite ahead of in the betting rate. Compared to Serbia’s win bid rate 2.60 on June 22, the rate for the Swiss win is 2.60. However, Swisses are quite ahead on June 27 Switzerland vs Costa Rica match, Their winning bid cost 1.83 against Costa Rica’s 4.50 rate