Group G will be a lot of fun, maybe a bit of chaos, and give a contender a chance to make a big statement coming out of the first round. Brazil are favorites to win the group and picked by many to be favorites for the whole tournament, and with good reason. A Seleção comes into Qatar having qualified by allowing just five goals in 17 matches while scoring 40 and should easily win the group. It’s a bit of a toss up as far as who the second team to come out will be with rising sides Serbia and Switzerland favorites, but Cameroon having some highly improbable results recently bringing them to the tournament.
November 24th - Switzerland vs. Cameroon, 5:00am ET/ 2:00am PT; Brazil vs. Serbia, 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT
November 28th - Cameroon vs. Serbia, 5:00am ET/2:00am PT; Brazil vs. Switzerland, 11:00am ET/8:00am PT
December 2nd - Cameroon vs. Brazil, 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT; Switzerland vs. Serbia, 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT
It’s Brazil, they’re really, really good and it’s been 20 years since they won a World Cup. If you’re a Brazilian that’s a really, really long time. They’re so good they left Roberto Firmino off the team and brought Dani Alves for the vibes. It might sound obvious, but a player to watch is Neymar. A lot of talk about this tournament is if Messi can win a World Cup, but the Brazil no. 10 is also eager to make his mark on his legacy after being overshadowed by the Argentinian and Cristiano Ronaldo for his entire career. This may be his last chance to do it since he’ll be 34 by the next World Cup.
The Swiss have been regular World Cup participants of late making the last four tournaments which is no small feat coming out of UEFA. In those trips, the team has emerged from the group three times. In 2022 they will feature Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri in midfield with Fabian Schar holding down the backline with Noah Okafor potentially poised to have a strong showing as an attacker. Switzerland qualified outright as Group C winners in UEFA qualifying and forced Italy into a playoff. They have a good mix of World Cup experience and players hitting their prime that should allow them to be in a good spot to come out of Group G.
Then again, Serbia also has a say in the outcome of this discussion. As it’s own nation, Serbia has existed since 2006 and in that time has qualified for the 2010 and 2018 World Cups but failed to emerge from the group both times. The team will look to Dusan Tadic to create chances and for Aleksandar Mitrovic to score them. Serbia won their group in UEFA qualification, including an away victory against Portugal which sent the Iberian team to a playoff, so they clearly can stack up to tough competition.
The Indomitable Lions have made the World Cup all but three times since their first appearance in the tournament in 1982 but will hope to come out of the group for the first time since 1990. There’s reason to think they might do just that in 2022. The team reached the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations earlier this year and ended up winning third place in dramatic fashion. After falling behind 3-0 to Burkina Faso, the team rallied back to score three goals after the 70th minute to then win a penalty shootout. Qualification for the World Cup would be just as dramatic with the team losing its first leg playoff with Algeria 1-0 only to win 2-1 in Algiers on a 120+4th minute goal. They’re anchored by captain and top scorer Vincent Aboubakar, Bayern Munich’s Erik Choupo-Moting, and Napoli’s Frank Anguissa who have pulled out results with their backs to the wall time and again in 2022.