Coming off their dominating performance in the Confederations Cup and riding an 11-match unbeaten streak, Brazil hopes to build more momentum in the year-long run-up to the World Cup as they meet Switzerland on Wednesday at St. Jakob Park in Basel.
Having lost nine of their 10 meetings since 1989, the Swiss can turnaround a disturbing trend against the Brazilians. Head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has said the pivotal match-up will serve as an excellent tune-up before their World Cup qualifier against Iceland next month.
Their recent success against Switzerland notwithstanding, Brazilian star Fred said his club is enjoying the all the adulation, but they are remain focused on their competition and goal of capturing a sixth world title at home.
“We won (the Confederations Cup) and we are more respected,” Fred said during a press conference in Basel. “We've looked for that respect, so much so that now rivals want to beat Brazil more than before. We are more motivated too.”
Brazil head coach Phil Scolari will more than likely go with the same lineup that vanquished Spain 3-0 in the Confederations final. Sensation Neymar will join Fred as the head of the Brazilian attack, and Julio Cesar should be in net.
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Swiss team captain Gokhan Inler and forward Mario Gavranovic each lead the team with two goals each this year. Switzerland last defeated Cyprus 1-0 back in June, and hold a solid four-point lead over Albania in the Group E of the Cup qualifying rounds.
TV Channel, Live Stream
The match kicks-off at 2:45 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast by beinSport, or watch their live online stream here.
D Alves, Silva, Luiz Marcelo
M Hernanes, Gustavo, Oscar, Moura
F Hulk, Neymar
D Lichtsteiner, Senderos, Schaer, Rodriguez
M Behrami, Dzemaili, Inler, Shaqiri
F Gavranovic, Mehmedi
Prediction: Brazil 2, Switzerland 1