2018 FIFA World Cup Group E preview

Unlike other groups in the FIFA World Cup, Group E should be interesting in more ways than one.

The cluster features four very capable teams, but there is an obvious favourite in who will gain first place.

That said, the battle for second place should be a very entertaining spectacle for fans who appreciate high quality football.

Brazil, Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia are ready to put on a show in Russia and fans are certainly waiting.

BRAZIL

Starting off with the clear favourites, Brazil are hoping to erase a difficult 2014 World Cup campaign that saw them bow out with a 7-1 humiliation in the hands of eventual winners Germany.

It appears that they have gone towards improving the team with the arrival of Tite at the helm, and they cruised through the qualifiers with ease.

Since his appointment, Brazil have won 13 games, drawn thrice and only lost once in a friendly against Argentina.

Clearly the man to watch out for the team is Neymar who is 26 years old and at the peak of his powers as a football player. The Brazilian has won everything at club level with various teams but capping it off with a World Cup should be a great way to end 2018.

COSTA RICA

Four years ago, Costa Rica had a very impressive World Cup run when they reached the quarter-finals before losing to the Netherlands via penalty shootout.

They certainly gained a lot of neutral fans as a result, and they are hoping to replicate the success in Russia this year.

The team has enough talent to gain a few surprises, with players like Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges likely to see time on the pitch. However, it is goalkeeper Keylor Navas who should be under the spotlight as to how he can orchestrate the defence of the South American nation.

They struggled in friendlies leading up to the World Cup and they are hoping to turn things around in the campaign proper.

SERBIA

Only making their second World Cup appearance since becoming an independent nation in 2006, Serbia seemed to be on a mission during the qualifying matches.

They showed incredible offence, netting 20 goals which is the most among the teams in the group. Aleksandar Mitrovic was unstoppable, and he will hope to continue his fine form in the competition.

With all these, the team may be lacking in leadership as Mladen Krstajic is the temporary coach after Slavoljub Muslin was relieved despite a positive season.

It is up to veteran star Branislav Ivanovic to help the team get settled as he is also the defensive anchor of the squad. He has shown excellent leadership throughout the qualifiers and will be relied on in Russia.

SWITZERLAND

Many are eagerly anticipating what Switzerland have to offer in the World Cup. The team are youthful and these players already have the experience at the brightest of stages despite a young age.

They have certainly shown up in the competition, finishing in the last-16 twice in the last two tournaments so reaching the knockout stages should be the goal again in Russia.

Many believe that they can improve this year, and the quarterfinals may be a realistic goal if things are put into perspective.

With that said, Valon Behrami may be the most important player for the nation at the moment as he is playing in his fourth straight World Cup. Leading a young squad in the biggest stage, the veteran should be the voice of the team looking for guidance towards the right direction.

TEAMS TO GO THROUGH

Easy to say that this group is tailor-made for Brazil to show just how good they are. Consisting of nations with quality squads, there is no doubt that the Brazilians are far better at almost every aspect of the game.

It could be a coin toss on who finishes second place, with the talent going up against youth and experience, any of the other three can secure a spot.

However, the Swiss may have the advantage of already achieving something in the past competitions, and that will play a very big part in Russia moving forward.

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