Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich slideshow

The headline battle was between two players whose billing as ‘world class’ remains intensely debated. Robert Lewandowski has the goals both with Bayern Munich and Poland to back his claim but, having been utterly adamant that Sadio Mane also belonged on the absolute elite stage of world football, Aliou Cisse had good reason here to feel vindicated. Senegal’s winning goals might have been a combination of the freakish and atrocious - the first deflected off both Michal Pazdan and Thiago Cionek before going in and the second was essentially caused by mistakes from Grzegorz Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny - but do not underestimate Mane’s presence. On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane was hugely influential. He played mostly on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger maximised his threat with his movement. One moment he would be running at the Poland defence from the left, the next he would be cutting inside through the middle and arriving in completely unexpected spaces. With Senegal otherwise quite structured in how they played and approached the game, it was vital both in creating gaps that his team-mates could exploit and putting Poland’s defenders on the back foot. Mane still made some eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive. The influence of Jurgen Klopp, as well as Cisse, was clear. “He is unpredictable, nobody can stop or mark him and, at any point, he can make the difference with a dribble or pass,” Cisse said. “I don't want to say he could become one of the best players in the world. He is already one of the best - you have to stress this.” Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more After a season in which Mane has already won two player of the year award with Liverpool following 20 goals, he also looked fit, sharp and hugely motivated to make his mark even more directly on this World Cup as the tournament progresses. The ‘world class’ label is well justified. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Why Sadio Mane's work off the ball makes him merit 'world class' billing
The headline battle was between two players whose billing as ‘world class’ remains intensely debated. Robert Lewandowski has the goals both with Bayern Munich and Poland to back his claim but, having been utterly adamant that Sadio Mane also belonged on the absolute elite stage of world football, Aliou Cisse had good reason here to feel vindicated. Senegal’s winning goals might have been a combination of the freakish and atrocious - the first deflected off both Michal Pazdan and Thiago Cionek before going in and the second was essentially caused by mistakes from Grzegorz Krychowiak and Wojciech Szczesny - but do not underestimate Mane’s presence. On the very same pitch as Lionel Messi so struggled against Iceland to make a decisive contribution, Mane was hugely influential. He played mostly on the left but, while Messi played just about the entire 90 minutes on Saturday in the area between Iceland’s midfield and defence, the Liverpool winger maximised his threat with his movement. One moment he would be running at the Poland defence from the left, the next he would be cutting inside through the middle and arriving in completely unexpected spaces. With Senegal otherwise quite structured in how they played and approached the game, it was vital both in creating gaps that his team-mates could exploit and putting Poland’s defenders on the back foot. Mane still made some eye-catching passes and dribbles but it was his work off the ball that was just as impressive. The influence of Jurgen Klopp, as well as Cisse, was clear. “He is unpredictable, nobody can stop or mark him and, at any point, he can make the difference with a dribble or pass,” Cisse said. “I don't want to say he could become one of the best players in the world. He is already one of the best - you have to stress this.” Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more After a season in which Mane has already won two player of the year award with Liverpool following 20 goals, he also looked fit, sharp and hugely motivated to make his mark even more directly on this World Cup as the tournament progresses. The ‘world class’ label is well justified. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has urged his team-mates to raise their games for the remainder of the World Cup after their dismal start
'From this point on, we only have finals' - Neuer demands focus from Germany
The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has urged his team-mates to raise their games for the remainder of the World Cup after their dismal start
Poland's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Poland's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). Poland fans in full voice Credit: getty images Poland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Senegal: Tuesday, June 19 at 4pm Colombia: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Japan: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm You can follow The Telegraph's coverage of Poland vs Senegal live. Poland's World Cup record World Cup record: Poland What odds are Poland to win the World Cup? 50/1 The kits See where Poland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Adam Nawalka. A star of Poland's run to the semi-finals of the 1978 World Cup and as coach he has taken the side into the world's top 10. Who's the star? Robert Lewandowski, who before scoring hundreds of goals for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich was set to join Blackburn until an ash cloud delayed his flight. Best thing about them There are likely to be plenty of goals in their matches. In qualifying they averaged nearly three goals a game and conceded more than any other group winner. Worst thing about them The goalkeeping equivalent of the Gerrard-Lampard debate as Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski fight for the No 1 shirt. You may recognise... A sense of over-reliance on the main striker. Like Harry Kane, Lewandowski failed to score at Euro 2016 and his national side went out in the last eight. Cameramen will be picking out... The face of whichever goalkeeper is on the bench as the other makes a horrendous error. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Fans' favourite chant 'Polska, Bialoczerwoni' - which, sung to the tune of 'Go West', means 'Poland, white and red'. On-field prediction Should get through the group but not get much further. Off-field prediction Huge travelling support means it'll be hard to miss the Poles this summer. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Poland World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Poland's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Poland's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). Poland fans in full voice Credit: getty images Poland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Senegal: Tuesday, June 19 at 4pm Colombia: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Japan: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm You can follow The Telegraph's coverage of Poland vs Senegal live. Poland's World Cup record World Cup record: Poland What odds are Poland to win the World Cup? 50/1 The kits See where Poland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Adam Nawalka. A star of Poland's run to the semi-finals of the 1978 World Cup and as coach he has taken the side into the world's top 10. Who's the star? Robert Lewandowski, who before scoring hundreds of goals for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich was set to join Blackburn until an ash cloud delayed his flight. Best thing about them There are likely to be plenty of goals in their matches. In qualifying they averaged nearly three goals a game and conceded more than any other group winner. Worst thing about them The goalkeeping equivalent of the Gerrard-Lampard debate as Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski fight for the No 1 shirt. You may recognise... A sense of over-reliance on the main striker. Like Harry Kane, Lewandowski failed to score at Euro 2016 and his national side went out in the last eight. Cameramen will be picking out... The face of whichever goalkeeper is on the bench as the other makes a horrendous error. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Fans' favourite chant 'Polska, Bialoczerwoni' - which, sung to the tune of 'Go West', means 'Poland, white and red'. On-field prediction Should get through the group but not get much further. Off-field prediction Huge travelling support means it'll be hard to miss the Poles this summer. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Poland's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Poland's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). Poland fans in full voice Credit: getty images Poland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Senegal: Tuesday, June 19 at 4pm Colombia: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Japan: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm You can follow The Telegraph's coverage of Poland vs Senegal live. Poland's World Cup record World Cup record: Poland What odds are Poland to win the World Cup? 50/1 The kits See where Poland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Adam Nawalka. A star of Poland's run to the semi-finals of the 1978 World Cup and as coach he has taken the side into the world's top 10. Who's the star? Robert Lewandowski, who before scoring hundreds of goals for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich was set to join Blackburn until an ash cloud delayed his flight. Best thing about them There are likely to be plenty of goals in their matches. In qualifying they averaged nearly three goals a game and conceded more than any other group winner. Worst thing about them The goalkeeping equivalent of the Gerrard-Lampard debate as Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski fight for the No 1 shirt. You may recognise... A sense of over-reliance on the main striker. Like Harry Kane, Lewandowski failed to score at Euro 2016 and his national side went out in the last eight. Cameramen will be picking out... The face of whichever goalkeeper is on the bench as the other makes a horrendous error. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Fans' favourite chant 'Polska, Bialoczerwoni' - which, sung to the tune of 'Go West', means 'Poland, white and red'. On-field prediction Should get through the group but not get much further. Off-field prediction Huge travelling support means it'll be hard to miss the Poles this summer. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Poland World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Poland's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Poland's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). Poland fans in full voice Credit: getty images Poland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Senegal: Tuesday, June 19 at 4pm Colombia: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Japan: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm You can follow The Telegraph's coverage of Poland vs Senegal live. Poland's World Cup record World Cup record: Poland What odds are Poland to win the World Cup? 50/1 The kits See where Poland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Adam Nawalka. A star of Poland's run to the semi-finals of the 1978 World Cup and as coach he has taken the side into the world's top 10. Who's the star? Robert Lewandowski, who before scoring hundreds of goals for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich was set to join Blackburn until an ash cloud delayed his flight. Best thing about them There are likely to be plenty of goals in their matches. In qualifying they averaged nearly three goals a game and conceded more than any other group winner. Worst thing about them The goalkeeping equivalent of the Gerrard-Lampard debate as Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski fight for the No 1 shirt. You may recognise... A sense of over-reliance on the main striker. Like Harry Kane, Lewandowski failed to score at Euro 2016 and his national side went out in the last eight. Cameramen will be picking out... The face of whichever goalkeeper is on the bench as the other makes a horrendous error. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Fans' favourite chant 'Polska, Bialoczerwoni' - which, sung to the tune of 'Go West', means 'Poland, white and red'. On-field prediction Should get through the group but not get much further. Off-field prediction Huge travelling support means it'll be hard to miss the Poles this summer. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? The final game of the first-round of a group stage matches as Poland face Senegalin Group H– with Japan and Colombia playing earlier in the day. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 4pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? ITV coverage begins at 3.25pm or alternatively you can bookmark this page and return to follow every kick with our Telegraph Sport live blog. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Spartak Stadium in Moscow home to, you guessed it, Spartak Moscow. What is the team news? Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will lead the line for Poland after scoring 16 goals in qualifying. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be a familiar face in goal for English fans, and keep an eye out for talented Napoli playmaker Piotr Zieliński in midfield. Sadio Mane is the jewell in Senegal's crown and will be ably assisted by Premier League players such as Idrisa Geuye, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho. Senegal reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 finals after beating holders France in the opening game of the tournament. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Poland Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). World Cup record: Poland Senegal Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Kalidou, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde. World Cup record: Senegal What's the latest news on the two teams? Senegal hoping to channel spirit of 2002 Senegal will draw on the spirit of the late Bruno Metsu, the maverick French coach who led them to the 2002 quarter-finals, when they face Poland on Tuesday in their first World Cup match in 16 years. Aliou Cisse, who captained the side which Metsu famously fired up to stun defending champions France 1-0 in Seoul in their opening game, said he was thinking of his mentor. Yet as the only African coach in this year's competition, he is determined to stamp his own generation's mark on world football. Asked if he had taken up Metsu's style of team talk, when he worked on their anger at being dismissed as outsiders in their first finals, Cisse told reporters: "No. Bruno's talk was Bruno. I'm the coach now, I have my own way of managing my team. Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse Credit: AFP "But today on the eve of this match against Poland my thoughts are with Bruno. I know that from where he is today he is watching us and his energy will lift us." Metsu, whose side lost to a Turkish golden goal in the 2002 quarter-finals, died five years ago of cancer, aged 59. For decades, many of Africa's most successful teams have had European or Latin American coaches, but Cisse reckoned it was time to move on: "Sure, I'm the only black coach in this World Cup. But these are debates that bother me. I believe football is universal and the colour of your skin doesn't matter. "I represent a new generation which wants to find its place in African football and world football," he added. "We also have a right to be among the elite of international coaches." Reuters. What are the odds? Betting guide: predictions and tips for Poland v Senegal > Poland 11/8 Senegal 13/5 Draw 23/1 What's our prediction? Both teams' strength lies in attack, so we fancy this might be a more open and enterprising game than the your typical group stage match. Poland are always touted as dark horses but are yet to really get their act together in a tournament - including a disappointing European Championship performance on home soil in 2012. Verdict: Poland 2 Senegal 2 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Poland vs Senegal: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? The final game of the first-round of a group stage matches as Poland face Senegalin Group H– with Japan and Colombia playing earlier in the day. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 4pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? ITV coverage begins at 3.25pm or alternatively you can bookmark this page and return to follow every kick with our Telegraph Sport live blog. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Spartak Stadium in Moscow home to, you guessed it, Spartak Moscow. What is the team news? Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will lead the line for Poland after scoring 16 goals in qualifying. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be a familiar face in goal for English fans, and keep an eye out for talented Napoli playmaker Piotr Zieliński in midfield. Sadio Mane is the jewell in Senegal's crown and will be ably assisted by Premier League players such as Idrisa Geuye, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho. Senegal reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 finals after beating holders France in the opening game of the tournament. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Poland Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). World Cup record: Poland Senegal Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Kalidou, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde. World Cup record: Senegal What's the latest news on the two teams? Senegal hoping to channel spirit of 2002 Senegal will draw on the spirit of the late Bruno Metsu, the maverick French coach who led them to the 2002 quarter-finals, when they face Poland on Tuesday in their first World Cup match in 16 years. Aliou Cisse, who captained the side which Metsu famously fired up to stun defending champions France 1-0 in Seoul in their opening game, said he was thinking of his mentor. Yet as the only African coach in this year's competition, he is determined to stamp his own generation's mark on world football. Asked if he had taken up Metsu's style of team talk, when he worked on their anger at being dismissed as outsiders in their first finals, Cisse told reporters: "No. Bruno's talk was Bruno. I'm the coach now, I have my own way of managing my team. Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse Credit: AFP "But today on the eve of this match against Poland my thoughts are with Bruno. I know that from where he is today he is watching us and his energy will lift us." Metsu, whose side lost to a Turkish golden goal in the 2002 quarter-finals, died five years ago of cancer, aged 59. For decades, many of Africa's most successful teams have had European or Latin American coaches, but Cisse reckoned it was time to move on: "Sure, I'm the only black coach in this World Cup. But these are debates that bother me. I believe football is universal and the colour of your skin doesn't matter. "I represent a new generation which wants to find its place in African football and world football," he added. "We also have a right to be among the elite of international coaches." Reuters. What are the odds? Betting guide: predictions and tips for Poland v Senegal > Poland 11/8 Senegal 13/5 Draw 23/1 What's our prediction? Both teams' strength lies in attack, so we fancy this might be a more open and enterprising game than the your typical group stage match. Poland are always touted as dark horses but are yet to really get their act together in a tournament - including a disappointing European Championship performance on home soil in 2012. Verdict: Poland 2 Senegal 2 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? The final game of the first-round of a group stage matches as Poland face Senegalin Group H– with Japan and Colombia playing earlier in the day. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 4pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? ITV coverage begins at 3.25pm or alternatively you can bookmark this page and return to follow every kick with our Telegraph Sport live blog. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Spartak Stadium in Moscow home to, you guessed it, Spartak Moscow. What is the team news? Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will lead the line for Poland after scoring 16 goals in qualifying. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be a familiar face in goal for English fans, and keep an eye out for talented Napoli playmaker Piotr Zieliński in midfield. Sadio Mane is the jewell in Senegal's crown and will be ably assisted by Premier League players such as Idrisa Geuye, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho. Senegal reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 finals after beating holders France in the opening game of the tournament. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Poland Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). World Cup record: Poland Senegal Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Kalidou, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde. World Cup record: Senegal What's the latest news on the two teams? Senegal hoping to channel spirit of 2002 Senegal will draw on the spirit of the late Bruno Metsu, the maverick French coach who led them to the 2002 quarter-finals, when they face Poland on Tuesday in their first World Cup match in 16 years. Aliou Cisse, who captained the side which Metsu famously fired up to stun defending champions France 1-0 in Seoul in their opening game, said he was thinking of his mentor. Yet as the only African coach in this year's competition, he is determined to stamp his own generation's mark on world football. Asked if he had taken up Metsu's style of team talk, when he worked on their anger at being dismissed as outsiders in their first finals, Cisse told reporters: "No. Bruno's talk was Bruno. I'm the coach now, I have my own way of managing my team. Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse Credit: AFP "But today on the eve of this match against Poland my thoughts are with Bruno. I know that from where he is today he is watching us and his energy will lift us." Metsu, whose side lost to a Turkish golden goal in the 2002 quarter-finals, died five years ago of cancer, aged 59. For decades, many of Africa's most successful teams have had European or Latin American coaches, but Cisse reckoned it was time to move on: "Sure, I'm the only black coach in this World Cup. But these are debates that bother me. I believe football is universal and the colour of your skin doesn't matter. "I represent a new generation which wants to find its place in African football and world football," he added. "We also have a right to be among the elite of international coaches." Reuters. What are the odds? Betting guide: predictions and tips for Poland v Senegal > Poland 11/8 Senegal 13/5 Draw 23/1 What's our prediction? Both teams' strength lies in attack, so we fancy this might be a more open and enterprising game than the your typical group stage match. Poland are always touted as dark horses but are yet to really get their act together in a tournament - including a disappointing European Championship performance on home soil in 2012. Verdict: Poland 2 Senegal 2 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Poland vs Senegal: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? The final game of the first-round of a group stage matches as Poland face Senegalin Group H– with Japan and Colombia playing earlier in the day. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 4pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? ITV coverage begins at 3.25pm or alternatively you can bookmark this page and return to follow every kick with our Telegraph Sport live blog. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Spartak Stadium in Moscow home to, you guessed it, Spartak Moscow. What is the team news? Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will lead the line for Poland after scoring 16 goals in qualifying. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be a familiar face in goal for English fans, and keep an eye out for talented Napoli playmaker Piotr Zieliński in midfield. Sadio Mane is the jewell in Senegal's crown and will be ably assisted by Premier League players such as Idrisa Geuye, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho. Senegal reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 finals after beating holders France in the opening game of the tournament. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Poland Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). World Cup record: Poland Senegal Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Kalidou, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde. World Cup record: Senegal What's the latest news on the two teams? Senegal hoping to channel spirit of 2002 Senegal will draw on the spirit of the late Bruno Metsu, the maverick French coach who led them to the 2002 quarter-finals, when they face Poland on Tuesday in their first World Cup match in 16 years. Aliou Cisse, who captained the side which Metsu famously fired up to stun defending champions France 1-0 in Seoul in their opening game, said he was thinking of his mentor. Yet as the only African coach in this year's competition, he is determined to stamp his own generation's mark on world football. Asked if he had taken up Metsu's style of team talk, when he worked on their anger at being dismissed as outsiders in their first finals, Cisse told reporters: "No. Bruno's talk was Bruno. I'm the coach now, I have my own way of managing my team. Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse Credit: AFP "But today on the eve of this match against Poland my thoughts are with Bruno. I know that from where he is today he is watching us and his energy will lift us." Metsu, whose side lost to a Turkish golden goal in the 2002 quarter-finals, died five years ago of cancer, aged 59. For decades, many of Africa's most successful teams have had European or Latin American coaches, but Cisse reckoned it was time to move on: "Sure, I'm the only black coach in this World Cup. But these are debates that bother me. I believe football is universal and the colour of your skin doesn't matter. "I represent a new generation which wants to find its place in African football and world football," he added. "We also have a right to be among the elite of international coaches." Reuters. What are the odds? Betting guide: predictions and tips for Poland v Senegal > Poland 11/8 Senegal 13/5 Draw 23/1 What's our prediction? Both teams' strength lies in attack, so we fancy this might be a more open and enterprising game than the your typical group stage match. Poland are always touted as dark horses but are yet to really get their act together in a tournament - including a disappointing European Championship performance on home soil in 2012. Verdict: Poland 2 Senegal 2 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Colombia's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Colombia's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Colombia fans bring the colour Credit: ap Colombia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Japan: Tuesday, June 19 at 1pm Poland: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Senegal: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm What odds are Colombia to win the World Cup? 40/1 Betway The kits See where Colombia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Jose Pekerman. The 68-year-old comes from the Arsene Wenger school of professorial coaches, with a penchant for patient - some might say laborious - possession football. Who's the star? James Rodriguez. Has been revitalised by his move to Bayern Munich after a miserable spell at Real Madrid, scoring eight and delivering 14 assists last season. Best thing about them Pace on the counter-attack and a reasonably tight defence. Worst thing about them Goals are hard to come by - they scored only 21 in 18 qualifiers. You may recognise... There is a north London look about their defence - with David Ospina in goal and Davison Sanchez at centre-half - while Radamel Falcao, so underwhelming in England, still plugs away up front. Cameramen will be picking out... Any giant insects that take a liking to James, who spawned a million memes after being alighted on by a fearsome-looking grasshopper during Brazil 2014. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Fans' favourite chant A patriotic bunch, Colombia enjoy belting out the national anthem - "Oh Gloria Inmarcesible!" ('Oh, unfading glory') at appropriately stirring moments. On-field prediction Not as stylish as Brazil, or starry as Argentina, but could go just as far as both. Off-field prediction Shakira to release a wretched World Cup song which sounds like it has been written via Google translate. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Colombia World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Colombia's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Colombia's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Colombia fans bring the colour Credit: ap Colombia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Japan: Tuesday, June 19 at 1pm Poland: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Senegal: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm What odds are Colombia to win the World Cup? 40/1 Betway The kits See where Colombia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Jose Pekerman. The 68-year-old comes from the Arsene Wenger school of professorial coaches, with a penchant for patient - some might say laborious - possession football. Who's the star? James Rodriguez. Has been revitalised by his move to Bayern Munich after a miserable spell at Real Madrid, scoring eight and delivering 14 assists last season. Best thing about them Pace on the counter-attack and a reasonably tight defence. Worst thing about them Goals are hard to come by - they scored only 21 in 18 qualifiers. You may recognise... There is a north London look about their defence - with David Ospina in goal and Davison Sanchez at centre-half - while Radamel Falcao, so underwhelming in England, still plugs away up front. Cameramen will be picking out... Any giant insects that take a liking to James, who spawned a million memes after being alighted on by a fearsome-looking grasshopper during Brazil 2014. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Fans' favourite chant A patriotic bunch, Colombia enjoy belting out the national anthem - "Oh Gloria Inmarcesible!" ('Oh, unfading glory') at appropriately stirring moments. On-field prediction Not as stylish as Brazil, or starry as Argentina, but could go just as far as both. Off-field prediction Shakira to release a wretched World Cup song which sounds like it has been written via Google translate. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Colombia's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Colombia's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Colombia fans bring the colour Credit: ap Colombia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Japan: Tuesday, June 19 at 1pm Poland: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Senegal: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm What odds are Colombia to win the World Cup? 40/1 Betway The kits See where Colombia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Jose Pekerman. The 68-year-old comes from the Arsene Wenger school of professorial coaches, with a penchant for patient - some might say laborious - possession football. Who's the star? James Rodriguez. Has been revitalised by his move to Bayern Munich after a miserable spell at Real Madrid, scoring eight and delivering 14 assists last season. Best thing about them Pace on the counter-attack and a reasonably tight defence. Worst thing about them Goals are hard to come by - they scored only 21 in 18 qualifiers. You may recognise... There is a north London look about their defence - with David Ospina in goal and Davison Sanchez at centre-half - while Radamel Falcao, so underwhelming in England, still plugs away up front. Cameramen will be picking out... Any giant insects that take a liking to James, who spawned a million memes after being alighted on by a fearsome-looking grasshopper during Brazil 2014. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Fans' favourite chant A patriotic bunch, Colombia enjoy belting out the national anthem - "Oh Gloria Inmarcesible!" ('Oh, unfading glory') at appropriately stirring moments. On-field prediction Not as stylish as Brazil, or starry as Argentina, but could go just as far as both. Off-field prediction Shakira to release a wretched World Cup song which sounds like it has been written via Google translate. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Colombia World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Colombia's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Colombia's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Colombia fans bring the colour Credit: ap Colombia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Japan: Tuesday, June 19 at 1pm Poland: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Senegal: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm What odds are Colombia to win the World Cup? 40/1 Betway The kits See where Colombia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Jose Pekerman. The 68-year-old comes from the Arsene Wenger school of professorial coaches, with a penchant for patient - some might say laborious - possession football. Who's the star? James Rodriguez. Has been revitalised by his move to Bayern Munich after a miserable spell at Real Madrid, scoring eight and delivering 14 assists last season. Best thing about them Pace on the counter-attack and a reasonably tight defence. Worst thing about them Goals are hard to come by - they scored only 21 in 18 qualifiers. You may recognise... There is a north London look about their defence - with David Ospina in goal and Davison Sanchez at centre-half - while Radamel Falcao, so underwhelming in England, still plugs away up front. Cameramen will be picking out... Any giant insects that take a liking to James, who spawned a million memes after being alighted on by a fearsome-looking grasshopper during Brazil 2014. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Fans' favourite chant A patriotic bunch, Colombia enjoy belting out the national anthem - "Oh Gloria Inmarcesible!" ('Oh, unfading glory') at appropriately stirring moments. On-field prediction Not as stylish as Brazil, or starry as Argentina, but could go just as far as both. Off-field prediction Shakira to release a wretched World Cup song which sounds like it has been written via Google translate. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The Bayern Munich striker will lead his country's charge at the World Cup but it's claimed an even better striker could be found in the future
'Lewandowski is not irreplaceable' - Poland legend Szarmach
The Bayern Munich striker will lead his country's charge at the World Cup but it's claimed an even better striker could be found in the future
The Poland captain insists his mind is on the job at the World Cup but there is considerable uncertainty over where he'll be playing his club football
Will Real Madrid target Lewandowski leave Bayern Munich this summer?
The Poland captain insists his mind is on the job at the World Cup but there is considerable uncertainty over where he'll be playing his club football
The Poland captain insists his mind is on the job at the World Cup but there is considerable uncertainty over where he'll be playing his club football
Will Real Madrid target Lewandowski leave Bayern Munich this summer?
The Poland captain insists his mind is on the job at the World Cup but there is considerable uncertainty over where he'll be playing his club football
The Poland captain insists his mind is on the job at the World Cup but there is considerable uncertainty over where he'll be playing his club football
Will Real Madrid target Lewandowski leave Bayern Munich this summer?
The Poland captain insists his mind is on the job at the World Cup but there is considerable uncertainty over where he'll be playing his club football
The Poland captain insists his mind is on the job at the World Cup but there is considerable uncertainty over where he'll be playing his club football
Will Real Madrid target Lewandowski leave Bayern Munich this summer?
The Poland captain insists his mind is on the job at the World Cup but there is considerable uncertainty over where he'll be playing his club football
What is it? This match sees Spain, looking for their first win of the Russia 2018 World Cup, face Iran who beat Morocco on Friday. When is it? Wednesday 20 June. What time is kick-off? 7pm BST What TV channel is it on? ITV1 or ITV HD. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Kazan Arena in Kazana, home to Rubin Kazan's home games. Surprise. What is the team news? Both sides escaped their openers injury free, and neither Spain manager Fernando Hierro nor his Morrocan counterpart Herve Renard are likely to tinker with their sides. David De Gea will keep his starting place in the side despite his error that led to Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal against the Spain side. As for Iran, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. After a 1-0 win and a clean sheet in their first match, Iran look like sticking with their back four, though they are unlikely to be quite as aggressive against Spain. One of Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Vahid Amiri is likely to drop out in favour of another defensive midfielder. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Iran: Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo). Defenders: Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Alsaad), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal). Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Mehdi Torabi (Saipa), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Haji Safi (Olympiacos), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis). Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Mehdi Taremi (Al Gharafa), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds), Ashkan Dejagah (Nottingham Forest). Reza Ghoochannejhad of Iran celebrates after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Morocco and Iran Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Spain: Goalkeepers: Pepe Reina (Napoli), David de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao). Defenders: Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (all Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both Barcelona), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea). Midfielders: Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets (both Barcelona), Saul Niguez, Koke (both Atletico Madrid), Isco, Marco Asensio (both Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City). Forwards: Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Rodrigo (Valencia), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid). What's the latest news on the two teams? In the end, there was little fallout after Spain sacked former manager Julen Lopetegui just two days before their Russia 2018 World Cup opener. Fernando Hierro's side were only denied a win against Portugal because of the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo, and there's no one even close to his calibre in the Iran side. Iran celebrated their first World Cup win in 20 years and currently sit top of group B. They have given themselves an outside chance of qualifying, but they'll still need to get something against either Spain or Portugal, and even then it might not be enough. What are the odds? Iran 20/1 Spain 6/1 Draw 1/6 What's our prediction? Spain to struggle to breakdown a stubborn Iran side in the first half, but eventually find the breakthrough in Diego Costa. Throw another VAR-inspired penalty into the mix, and this will end up in a comfortable Spain victory. Iran 0 Spain 3 World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Iran vs Spain: What time is kick-off tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Spain, looking for their first win of the Russia 2018 World Cup, face Iran who beat Morocco on Friday. When is it? Wednesday 20 June. What time is kick-off? 7pm BST What TV channel is it on? ITV1 or ITV HD. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Kazan Arena in Kazana, home to Rubin Kazan's home games. Surprise. What is the team news? Both sides escaped their openers injury free, and neither Spain manager Fernando Hierro nor his Morrocan counterpart Herve Renard are likely to tinker with their sides. David De Gea will keep his starting place in the side despite his error that led to Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal against the Spain side. As for Iran, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. After a 1-0 win and a clean sheet in their first match, Iran look like sticking with their back four, though they are unlikely to be quite as aggressive against Spain. One of Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Vahid Amiri is likely to drop out in favour of another defensive midfielder. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Iran: Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo). Defenders: Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Alsaad), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal). Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Mehdi Torabi (Saipa), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Haji Safi (Olympiacos), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis). Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Mehdi Taremi (Al Gharafa), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds), Ashkan Dejagah (Nottingham Forest). Reza Ghoochannejhad of Iran celebrates after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Morocco and Iran Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Spain: Goalkeepers: Pepe Reina (Napoli), David de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao). Defenders: Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (all Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both Barcelona), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea). Midfielders: Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets (both Barcelona), Saul Niguez, Koke (both Atletico Madrid), Isco, Marco Asensio (both Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City). Forwards: Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Rodrigo (Valencia), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid). What's the latest news on the two teams? In the end, there was little fallout after Spain sacked former manager Julen Lopetegui just two days before their Russia 2018 World Cup opener. Fernando Hierro's side were only denied a win against Portugal because of the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo, and there's no one even close to his calibre in the Iran side. Iran celebrated their first World Cup win in 20 years and currently sit top of group B. They have given themselves an outside chance of qualifying, but they'll still need to get something against either Spain or Portugal, and even then it might not be enough. What are the odds? Iran 20/1 Spain 6/1 Draw 1/6 What's our prediction? Spain to struggle to breakdown a stubborn Iran side in the first half, but eventually find the breakthrough in Diego Costa. Throw another VAR-inspired penalty into the mix, and this will end up in a comfortable Spain victory. Iran 0 Spain 3 World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? This match sees Spain, looking for their first win of the Russia 2018 World Cup, face Iran who beat Morocco on Friday. When is it? Wednesday 20 June. What time is kick-off? 7pm BST What TV channel is it on? ITV1 or ITV HD. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Kazan Arena in Kazana, home to Rubin Kazan's home games. Surprise. What is the team news? Both sides escaped their openers injury free, and neither Spain manager Fernando Hierro nor his Morrocan counterpart Herve Renard are likely to tinker with their sides. David De Gea will keep his starting place in the side despite his error that led to Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal against the Spain side. As for Iran, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. After a 1-0 win and a clean sheet in their first match, Iran look like sticking with their back four, though they are unlikely to be quite as aggressive against Spain. One of Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Vahid Amiri is likely to drop out in favour of another defensive midfielder. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Iran: Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo). Defenders: Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Alsaad), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal). Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Mehdi Torabi (Saipa), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Haji Safi (Olympiacos), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis). Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Mehdi Taremi (Al Gharafa), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds), Ashkan Dejagah (Nottingham Forest). Reza Ghoochannejhad of Iran celebrates after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Morocco and Iran Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Spain: Goalkeepers: Pepe Reina (Napoli), David de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao). Defenders: Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (all Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both Barcelona), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea). Midfielders: Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets (both Barcelona), Saul Niguez, Koke (both Atletico Madrid), Isco, Marco Asensio (both Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City). Forwards: Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Rodrigo (Valencia), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid). What's the latest news on the two teams? In the end, there was little fallout after Spain sacked former manager Julen Lopetegui just two days before their Russia 2018 World Cup opener. Fernando Hierro's side were only denied a win against Portugal because of the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo, and there's no one even close to his calibre in the Iran side. Iran celebrated their first World Cup win in 20 years and currently sit top of group B. They have given themselves an outside chance of qualifying, but they'll still need to get something against either Spain or Portugal, and even then it might not be enough. What are the odds? Iran 20/1 Spain 6/1 Draw 1/6 What's our prediction? Spain to struggle to breakdown a stubborn Iran side in the first half, but eventually find the breakthrough in Diego Costa. Throw another VAR-inspired penalty into the mix, and this will end up in a comfortable Spain victory. Iran 0 Spain 3 World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Iran vs Spain: What time is kick-off tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Spain, looking for their first win of the Russia 2018 World Cup, face Iran who beat Morocco on Friday. When is it? Wednesday 20 June. What time is kick-off? 7pm BST What TV channel is it on? ITV1 or ITV HD. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Kazan Arena in Kazana, home to Rubin Kazan's home games. Surprise. What is the team news? Both sides escaped their openers injury free, and neither Spain manager Fernando Hierro nor his Morrocan counterpart Herve Renard are likely to tinker with their sides. David De Gea will keep his starting place in the side despite his error that led to Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal against the Spain side. As for Iran, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. After a 1-0 win and a clean sheet in their first match, Iran look like sticking with their back four, though they are unlikely to be quite as aggressive against Spain. One of Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Vahid Amiri is likely to drop out in favour of another defensive midfielder. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Iran: Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo). Defenders: Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Alsaad), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal). Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Mehdi Torabi (Saipa), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Haji Safi (Olympiacos), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis). Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Mehdi Taremi (Al Gharafa), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds), Ashkan Dejagah (Nottingham Forest). Reza Ghoochannejhad of Iran celebrates after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Morocco and Iran Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Spain: Goalkeepers: Pepe Reina (Napoli), David de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao). Defenders: Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (all Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both Barcelona), Alvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea). Midfielders: Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets (both Barcelona), Saul Niguez, Koke (both Atletico Madrid), Isco, Marco Asensio (both Real Madrid), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), David Silva (Manchester City). Forwards: Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo), Rodrigo (Valencia), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Vazquez (Real Madrid). What's the latest news on the two teams? In the end, there was little fallout after Spain sacked former manager Julen Lopetegui just two days before their Russia 2018 World Cup opener. Fernando Hierro's side were only denied a win against Portugal because of the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo, and there's no one even close to his calibre in the Iran side. Iran celebrated their first World Cup win in 20 years and currently sit top of group B. They have given themselves an outside chance of qualifying, but they'll still need to get something against either Spain or Portugal, and even then it might not be enough. What are the odds? Iran 20/1 Spain 6/1 Draw 1/6 What's our prediction? Spain to struggle to breakdown a stubborn Iran side in the first half, but eventually find the breakthrough in Diego Costa. Throw another VAR-inspired penalty into the mix, and this will end up in a comfortable Spain victory. Iran 0 Spain 3 World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Colombia vs Japan: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Colombia vs Japan: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Colombia vs Japan: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The World Cup Nerd is our daily newsletter, providing analysis, stats, nostalgia and more, straight to your inbox first thing every morning. Here's a taste of what you could be getting. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article The impact a positive World Cup can have on a footballer's career really is massive - and if you play particularly well for five or six games often it is Real Madrid who sit up and take notice. In Brazil four years ago, James Rodriguez, already a fairly well-established name in Europe, 12 months earlier having moved from Porto to Monaco for £35 million, won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, scoring six times in five games as he led Colombia to the quarter-finals. Within three weeks of defeat to Brazil he had joined Real for £63m. He remains their third-most expensive signing ever. The Spanish giants also brought in the impressive Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas and winner Toni Kroos in the wake of the tournament, for a relatively modest combined £28m. Those two remain important members of a Real side that has won three consecutive Champions League trophies (were Real blinded by the beauty and audacious nature of Rodriguez's goals, perhaps?). James, on the other hand, after thriving as Colombia's main man is Brazil, struggled among so many other star names at the Bernabeu. Rodriguez scored six goals from nine shots at the 2014 World Cup Credit: Getty images Injuries have played their part, but his failure to move out of the shadow of his many talented colleagues - his statistics at club level far less impressive over the last four years - suggest one of two things: 1) Rodriguez is best off when the team is built around him, even if he is flanked by inferior players; 2) 2014 was a one-off, where he performed far above his usual level and perhaps did not quite deserve his big-money "dream move" to Madrid. His eye for goal at the 2014 World Cup was quite incredible: he scored with two in every three of his shots, netting every 66.7 minutes, on average. In league games for far more dominant and free-scoring Real Madrid and Bayern Munich sides (where he spent last season on loan), James has scored roughly every one in four attempts, at a rate of a goal every 189 minutes, or around three times as infrequently. World Cup nerd: James Rodriguez's performance Assists are coming at roughly the same rate as he racked them up at the last World Cup - one every two-and-a-bit games - despite having been playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. Maintaining performances at what is a maximum seven-game tournament may be easier than doing so over an entire season, but the extent of the difference between Rodriguez's only World Cup and his four years since suggests he hit the jackpot when Real came calling. Clearly, he is an immensely talented footballer, but maybe he is not quite up the level of being the Galactico Florentino Perez will have wanted. That said, if the last World Cup is anything to go by, we could be in for another treat from James in Russia, starting today against Japan. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage
James Rodriguez club struggles show he is best as Colombia's main man: Sign up to our World Cup Nerd newsletter
The World Cup Nerd is our daily newsletter, providing analysis, stats, nostalgia and more, straight to your inbox first thing every morning. Here's a taste of what you could be getting. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article The impact a positive World Cup can have on a footballer's career really is massive - and if you play particularly well for five or six games often it is Real Madrid who sit up and take notice. In Brazil four years ago, James Rodriguez, already a fairly well-established name in Europe, 12 months earlier having moved from Porto to Monaco for £35 million, won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, scoring six times in five games as he led Colombia to the quarter-finals. Within three weeks of defeat to Brazil he had joined Real for £63m. He remains their third-most expensive signing ever. The Spanish giants also brought in the impressive Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas and winner Toni Kroos in the wake of the tournament, for a relatively modest combined £28m. Those two remain important members of a Real side that has won three consecutive Champions League trophies (were Real blinded by the beauty and audacious nature of Rodriguez's goals, perhaps?). James, on the other hand, after thriving as Colombia's main man is Brazil, struggled among so many other star names at the Bernabeu. Rodriguez scored six goals from nine shots at the 2014 World Cup Credit: Getty images Injuries have played their part, but his failure to move out of the shadow of his many talented colleagues - his statistics at club level far less impressive over the last four years - suggest one of two things: 1) Rodriguez is best off when the team is built around him, even if he is flanked by inferior players; 2) 2014 was a one-off, where he performed far above his usual level and perhaps did not quite deserve his big-money "dream move" to Madrid. His eye for goal at the 2014 World Cup was quite incredible: he scored with two in every three of his shots, netting every 66.7 minutes, on average. In league games for far more dominant and free-scoring Real Madrid and Bayern Munich sides (where he spent last season on loan), James has scored roughly every one in four attempts, at a rate of a goal every 189 minutes, or around three times as infrequently. World Cup nerd: James Rodriguez's performance Assists are coming at roughly the same rate as he racked them up at the last World Cup - one every two-and-a-bit games - despite having been playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. Maintaining performances at what is a maximum seven-game tournament may be easier than doing so over an entire season, but the extent of the difference between Rodriguez's only World Cup and his four years since suggests he hit the jackpot when Real came calling. Clearly, he is an immensely talented footballer, but maybe he is not quite up the level of being the Galactico Florentino Perez will have wanted. That said, if the last World Cup is anything to go by, we could be in for another treat from James in Russia, starting today against Japan. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage
The World Cup Nerd is our daily newsletter, providing analysis, stats, nostalgia and more, straight to your inbox first thing every morning. Here's a taste of what you could be getting. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article The impact a positive World Cup can have on a footballer's career really is massive - and if you play particularly well for five or six games often it is Real Madrid who sit up and take notice. In Brazil four years ago, James Rodriguez, already a fairly well-established name in Europe, 12 months earlier having moved from Porto to Monaco for £35 million, won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, scoring six times in five games as he led Colombia to the quarter-finals. Within three weeks of defeat to Brazil he had joined Real for £63m. He remains their third-most expensive signing ever. The Spanish giants also brought in the impressive Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas and winner Toni Kroos in the wake of the tournament, for a relatively modest combined £28m. Those two remain important members of a Real side that has won three consecutive Champions League trophies (were Real blinded by the beauty and audacious nature of Rodriguez's goals, perhaps?). James, on the other hand, after thriving as Colombia's main man is Brazil, struggled among so many other star names at the Bernabeu. Rodriguez scored six goals from nine shots at the 2014 World Cup Credit: Getty images Injuries have played their part, but his failure to move out of the shadow of his many talented colleagues - his statistics at club level far less impressive over the last four years - suggest one of two things: 1) Rodriguez is best off when the team is built around him, even if he is flanked by inferior players; 2) 2014 was a one-off, where he performed far above his usual level and perhaps did not quite deserve his big-money "dream move" to Madrid. His eye for goal at the 2014 World Cup was quite incredible: he scored with two in every three of his shots, netting every 66.7 minutes, on average. In league games for far more dominant and free-scoring Real Madrid and Bayern Munich sides (where he spent last season on loan), James has scored roughly every one in four attempts, at a rate of a goal every 189 minutes, or around three times as infrequently. World Cup nerd: James Rodriguez's performance Assists are coming at roughly the same rate as he racked them up at the last World Cup - one every two-and-a-bit games - despite having been playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. Maintaining performances at what is a maximum seven-game tournament may be easier than doing so over an entire season, but the extent of the difference between Rodriguez's only World Cup and his four years since suggests he hit the jackpot when Real came calling. Clearly, he is an immensely talented footballer, but maybe he is not quite up the level of being the Galactico Florentino Perez will have wanted. That said, if the last World Cup is anything to go by, we could be in for another treat from James in Russia, starting today against Japan. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage
James Rodriguez club struggles show he is best as Colombia's main man: Sign up to our World Cup Nerd newsletter
The World Cup Nerd is our daily newsletter, providing analysis, stats, nostalgia and more, straight to your inbox first thing every morning. Here's a taste of what you could be getting. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article The impact a positive World Cup can have on a footballer's career really is massive - and if you play particularly well for five or six games often it is Real Madrid who sit up and take notice. In Brazil four years ago, James Rodriguez, already a fairly well-established name in Europe, 12 months earlier having moved from Porto to Monaco for £35 million, won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, scoring six times in five games as he led Colombia to the quarter-finals. Within three weeks of defeat to Brazil he had joined Real for £63m. He remains their third-most expensive signing ever. The Spanish giants also brought in the impressive Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas and winner Toni Kroos in the wake of the tournament, for a relatively modest combined £28m. Those two remain important members of a Real side that has won three consecutive Champions League trophies (were Real blinded by the beauty and audacious nature of Rodriguez's goals, perhaps?). James, on the other hand, after thriving as Colombia's main man is Brazil, struggled among so many other star names at the Bernabeu. Rodriguez scored six goals from nine shots at the 2014 World Cup Credit: Getty images Injuries have played their part, but his failure to move out of the shadow of his many talented colleagues - his statistics at club level far less impressive over the last four years - suggest one of two things: 1) Rodriguez is best off when the team is built around him, even if he is flanked by inferior players; 2) 2014 was a one-off, where he performed far above his usual level and perhaps did not quite deserve his big-money "dream move" to Madrid. His eye for goal at the 2014 World Cup was quite incredible: he scored with two in every three of his shots, netting every 66.7 minutes, on average. In league games for far more dominant and free-scoring Real Madrid and Bayern Munich sides (where he spent last season on loan), James has scored roughly every one in four attempts, at a rate of a goal every 189 minutes, or around three times as infrequently. World Cup nerd: James Rodriguez's performance Assists are coming at roughly the same rate as he racked them up at the last World Cup - one every two-and-a-bit games - despite having been playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. Maintaining performances at what is a maximum seven-game tournament may be easier than doing so over an entire season, but the extent of the difference between Rodriguez's only World Cup and his four years since suggests he hit the jackpot when Real came calling. Clearly, he is an immensely talented footballer, but maybe he is not quite up the level of being the Galactico Florentino Perez will have wanted. That said, if the last World Cup is anything to go by, we could be in for another treat from James in Russia, starting today against Japan. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage
The 2018 Fifa World Cup includes eight groups of four teams in its first stage – but who is in best shape to progress to the round of 16? Here are the group tables and latest standings. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they are in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Germany 0 Mexico 1 Sweden 1 South Korea Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England Belgium 3 Panama 0 Tunisia 1 England 2 Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: latest tables and standings
The 2018 Fifa World Cup includes eight groups of four teams in its first stage – but who is in best shape to progress to the round of 16? Here are the group tables and latest standings. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they are in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Germany 0 Mexico 1 Sweden 1 South Korea Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England Belgium 3 Panama 0 Tunisia 1 England 2 Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The 2018 Fifa World Cup includes eight groups of four teams in its first stage – but who is in best shape to progress to the round of 16? Here are the group tables and latest standings. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they are in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Germany 0 Mexico 1 Sweden 1 South Korea Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England Belgium 3 Panama 0 Tunisia 1 England 2 Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: latest tables and standings
The 2018 Fifa World Cup includes eight groups of four teams in its first stage – but who is in best shape to progress to the round of 16? Here are the group tables and latest standings. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they are in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Germany 0 Mexico 1 Sweden 1 South Korea Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England Belgium 3 Panama 0 Tunisia 1 England 2 Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Eighth-ranked Poland enter their Group H opener at Moscow's Spartak Stadium as favourites against Senegal led by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (C)
Eighth-ranked Poland enter their Group H opener at Moscow's Spartak Stadium as favourites against Senegal led by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (C)
Eighth-ranked Poland enter their Group H opener at Moscow's Spartak Stadium as favourites against Senegal led by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (C)
Eighth-ranked Poland enter their Group H opener at Moscow's Spartak Stadium as favourites against Senegal led by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (C) (AFP Photo/Alexander NEMENOV)
Eighth-ranked Poland enter their Group H opener at Moscow's Spartak Stadium as favourites against Senegal led by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (C)
Eighth-ranked Poland enter their Group H opener at Moscow's Spartak Stadium as favourites against Senegal led by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (C) (AFP Photo/Alexander NEMENOV)
What is it? The final game of the first-round of a group stage matches as Poland face Senegal in Group H - with Japan and Colombia playing earlier in the day. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 4pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? ITV coverage begins at 3.25pm or alternatively you can bookmark this page and return to follow every kick with our Telegraph Sport live blog. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Spartak Stadium in Moscow home to, you guessed it, Spartak Moscow. What is the team news? Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will lead the line for Poland after scoring 16 goals in qualifying. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be a familiar face in goal for English fans, and keep an eye out for talented Napoli playmaker Piotr Zieliński in midfield. Sadio Mane is the jewell in Senegal's crown and will be ably assisted by Premier League players such as Idrisa Geuye, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho. Senegal reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 finals after beating holders France in the opening game of the tournament. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Poland Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). World Cup record: Poland Senegal Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Kalidou, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde. World Cup record: Senegal What's the latest news on the two teams? Senegal hoping to channel spirit of 2002 Senegal will draw on the spirit of the late Bruno Metsu, the maverick French coach who led them to the 2002 quarter-finals, when they face Poland on Tuesday in their first World Cup match in 16 years. Aliou Cisse, who captained the side which Metsu famously fired up to stun defending champions France 1-0 in Seoul in their opening game, said he was thinking of his mentor. Yet as the only African coach in this year's competition, he is determined to stamp his own generation's mark on world football. Asked if he had taken up Metsu's style of team talk, when he worked on their anger at being dismissed as outsiders in their first finals, Cisse told reporters: "No. Bruno's talk was Bruno. I'm the coach now, I have my own way of managing my team. Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse Credit: AFP "But today on the eve of this match against Poland my thoughts are with Bruno. I know that from where he is today he is watching us and his energy will lift us." Metsu, whose side lost to a Turkish golden goal in the 2002 quarter-finals, died five years ago of cancer, aged 59. For decades, many of Africa's most successful teams have had European or Latin American coaches, but Cisse reckoned it was time to move on: "Sure, I'm the only black coach in this World Cup. But these are debates that bother me. I believe football is universal and the colour of your skin doesn't matter. "I represent a new generation which wants to find its place in African football and world football," he added. "We also have a right to be among the elite of international coaches." Reuters. What are the odds? Poland 11/8 Senegal 13/5 Draw 23/1 What's our prediction? Both teams' strength lies in attack, so we fancy this might be a more open and enterprising game than the your typical group stage match. Poland are always touted as dark horses but are yet to really get their act together in a tournament - including a disappointing European Championship performance on home soil in 2012. Verdict: Poland 2 Senegal 2 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Poland vs Senegal: What time is kick-off tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? The final game of the first-round of a group stage matches as Poland face Senegal in Group H - with Japan and Colombia playing earlier in the day. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 4pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? ITV coverage begins at 3.25pm or alternatively you can bookmark this page and return to follow every kick with our Telegraph Sport live blog. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Spartak Stadium in Moscow home to, you guessed it, Spartak Moscow. What is the team news? Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will lead the line for Poland after scoring 16 goals in qualifying. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be a familiar face in goal for English fans, and keep an eye out for talented Napoli playmaker Piotr Zieliński in midfield. Sadio Mane is the jewell in Senegal's crown and will be ably assisted by Premier League players such as Idrisa Geuye, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho. Senegal reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 finals after beating holders France in the opening game of the tournament. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Poland Goalkeepers: Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (UC Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL Ferrara), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad), Maciej Rybus (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Karol Linetty (UC Sampdoria), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze). Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht), Dawid Kownacki (UC Sampdoria). World Cup record: Poland Senegal Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Kalidou, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde. World Cup record: Senegal What's the latest news on the two teams? Senegal hoping to channel spirit of 2002 Senegal will draw on the spirit of the late Bruno Metsu, the maverick French coach who led them to the 2002 quarter-finals, when they face Poland on Tuesday in their first World Cup match in 16 years. Aliou Cisse, who captained the side which Metsu famously fired up to stun defending champions France 1-0 in Seoul in their opening game, said he was thinking of his mentor. Yet as the only African coach in this year's competition, he is determined to stamp his own generation's mark on world football. Asked if he had taken up Metsu's style of team talk, when he worked on their anger at being dismissed as outsiders in their first finals, Cisse told reporters: "No. Bruno's talk was Bruno. I'm the coach now, I have my own way of managing my team. Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse Credit: AFP "But today on the eve of this match against Poland my thoughts are with Bruno. I know that from where he is today he is watching us and his energy will lift us." Metsu, whose side lost to a Turkish golden goal in the 2002 quarter-finals, died five years ago of cancer, aged 59. For decades, many of Africa's most successful teams have had European or Latin American coaches, but Cisse reckoned it was time to move on: "Sure, I'm the only black coach in this World Cup. But these are debates that bother me. I believe football is universal and the colour of your skin doesn't matter. "I represent a new generation which wants to find its place in African football and world football," he added. "We also have a right to be among the elite of international coaches." Reuters. What are the odds? Poland 11/8 Senegal 13/5 Draw 23/1 What's our prediction? Both teams' strength lies in attack, so we fancy this might be a more open and enterprising game than the your typical group stage match. Poland are always touted as dark horses but are yet to really get their act together in a tournament - including a disappointing European Championship performance on home soil in 2012. Verdict: Poland 2 Senegal 2 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The 2018 Fifa World Cup includes eight groups of four teams in its first stage - but who is in best shape to progress to the last 16? Here are the group tables and latest standings. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they are in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Germany 0 Mexico 1 SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. You can follow The Telegraph's live updates from Tunisia vs Englandhere. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: games, tables, current standings and analysis
The 2018 Fifa World Cup includes eight groups of four teams in its first stage - but who is in best shape to progress to the last 16? Here are the group tables and latest standings. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they are in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Germany 0 Mexico 1 SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. You can follow The Telegraph's live updates from Tunisia vs Englandhere. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The 2018 Fifa World Cup includes eight groups of four teams in its first stage - but who is in best shape to progress to the last 16? Here are the group tables and latest standings. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they are in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Germany 0 Mexico 1 SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. You can follow The Telegraph's live updates from Tunisia vs Englandhere. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 groups: games, tables, current standings and analysis
The 2018 Fifa World Cup includes eight groups of four teams in its first stage - but who is in best shape to progress to the last 16? Here are the group tables and latest standings. Last December's draw in Moscow saw England placed in Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. The top two in the group will qualify for the knockout stages. You can find details about each team, the World Cup group they are in and our prediction on who makes it through right here. World Cup Draw Live Widget 2018 Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0 Egypt 0 Uruguay 1 Our group prediction: Uruguay and Egypt to go through Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Morocco 0 Iran 1 Portugal 3 Spain 3 Our group prediction: Portugal and Spain to go through Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark France 2 Australia 1 Peru 0 Denmark 1 Our prediction: France and Denmark to go through Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Croatia 2 Nigeria 0 Our prediction: Argentina and Croatia to go through Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1 Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Our prediction: Brazil and Switzerland to go through Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Germany 0 Mexico 1 SWEDEN Sweden had just stunned Italy in the play-offs to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2006 when a tweet was posted by the country's best player: "We are Zweden." The shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic hangs over the national team. The Manchester United striker retired from international soccer after the 2016 European Championship and much of the build-up this time around was whether he might be lured back for one last World Cup. Sweden seem more united and well-structured, but now they will find out just good they are without the force that made them tick for so long. Key player: Emil Forsberg (Leipzig) - Has replaced Ibrahimovic as Sweden's inspiration in attack. Coach: Janne Andersson - Took charge following Euro 2016 and has successfully rebuilt the team to be greater than the sum of its parts without Ibrahimovic. SOUTH KOREA Every World Cup since 1986 has featured South Korea. This time looks likelier to be a repeat of 2014's meek group-stage exit than 2002's swashbuckling run to the semi-finals. Qualifying was tricky, with a place only secured thanks to a tense 0-0 draw against fellow qualifying contenders Uzbekistan on the final day of the Asian group stages, combined with Syria's failure to beat Iran. Much will depend on a due of English Premier League players - Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Swansea's Ki Sung-yeung who bring valuable experience of top-level football. Key player: Son Heung-min (Tottenham) - The top-scoring Asian player in Premier League history. Coach: Shin Tae-yong - When defeats to Qatar and China threw South Korea's qualifying campaign into turmoil, the former Under-23 coach was promoted to steady the ship. Has only ever coached in South Korea and Australia. Our prediction: Germany and Mexico to go through Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England BELGIUM It's time to deliver for a team featuring such exceptional talent. But Belgium is a country that is yet to break into the semi-finals of a tournament. It is widely acknowledged they have been held back by mediocre management. Now it is up to Roberto Martinez, a Spanish coach, to get the best out of this plethora of stars. If you have Romelu Lukaku up front, Eden Hazard as a creative genius and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for a final lock on goal, the ingredients for success are there. There are issues in defence. Central defender Vincent Kompany is as brittle as he can be brilliant and there are very few credible back-ups available for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Key player: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - Overshadowed Eden Hazard at the 2014 World Cup, he has only grown in stature, especially since his move to City and his more withdrawn position on the pitch. Coach: Roberto Martinez was a surprise pick for Belgium when they ditched Marc Wilmots after a disappointing Euro 2016. The Spaniard easily adapted to life in international management. PANAMA A first qualification for the World Cup earned Panama a national holiday. The Central Americans made it to Russia in style, defeating Costa Rica 2-1 in the final qualifier. Panama has only four million people, but finished ahead of the United States, which has about 320 million. Key player: Luis Tejada (Universitario) - The striker has scored 43 goals for Panama. Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez - The Colombian has worked his magic again. He got Colombia into the 1998 World Cup, and then did the same for Ecuador in 2002. Now it is Panama's turn. TUNISIA Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage qualified for Russia ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Guinea and will take part in their fifth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage. With a new generation of players including Wahbi Khazri and former Monaco defender Aymen Abdennour, their main goal will be to win a game in Russia. Key player: Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail) - The 27-year-old forward played a crucial role in qualifying, scoring a hat-trick in an away win to Guinea. Coach: Nabil Maaloul - A former assistant under Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won the African Cup of Nations in 2002, Maaloul took over from Henri Kasperczak two matches into Tunisia's World Cup qualifying campaign. You can follow The Telegraph's live updates from Tunisia vs Englandhere. ENGLAND Expectations in England have plummeted because of the team's embarrassing performances in recent major tournaments - exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage and losing to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016. Having the world's richest and most popular domestic league has had an adverse effect on the England team, whose managers have an increasingly shallow pool of top players to choose from. A young squad will be taken to Russia, so getting out of the group is as much as can realistically be hoped for. Key player: Harry Kane (Tottenham) - Emerged as one of the tops strikers in the world this year, scoring freely for his club in the Premier League and Champions League. Has 13 goals in 24 games for England. Coach: Gareth Southgate - Sceptics are starting to come round to Southgate, who took charge in September 2016 despite having little top-level coaching experience but has shown he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Our prediction - Belgium and England to go through Harry Kane is the man tasked with spearheading England's attack Credit: Getty Images Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan POLAND It's the first World Cup since 2006 for Poland, whose fans are likely to travel to Russia in large numbers. It could be the last chance to play on the biggest stage for strikers Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who will be 29 and 32 respectively by the finals. Poland are largely unchanged from the team that reached Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Portugal. One concern in qualifying was a 4-0 thrashing by Denmark in September that raised concerns about the defence. Key player: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - Already Poland's record goalscorer, he scored a European-high 16 goals in qualifying. Coach: Adam Nawalka - Turned Poland from a counter-attacking team into one which seeks to dominate possession. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more SENEGAL Senegal are back at the World Cup for the first time since their stunning debut in 2002, when they beat defending champions France on the way to the quarter-finals, then only the second African team to make the last eight. This qualification has been contentious, with Senegal benefiting from an unprecedented decision by Fifa to order a replay of their 2-1 loss in South Africa because of match-fixing by the referee. Senegal took advantage to win the replay, changing the dynamic of the group. Key player: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - With his blistering pace, Mane has been every bit as effective for Senegal as he has for Liverpool. Coach: Aliou Cisse - Senegal will take a reminder of their dream World Cup debut in 2002 to Russia next year. Cisse was captain of the 2002 team and returns to the World Cup as coach of his country. Sadio Mane is Senegal's talisman Credit: REUTERS COLOMBIA Reached the quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil and they have the talent to do it again. This will be Colombia's second straight appearance after sitting out for 16 years. Qualifying was a struggle this time. Colombia waited until the last match to make it to Russia. Key player: James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich) - A breakthrough talent at the 2014 World Cup, exemplified by a stunning volley against Uruguay, Rodriguez quickly secured a move from Monaco to Real Madrid. After struggling to make an impact in Spain, Rodriguez is at Bayern Munich on loan trying to revive his form ahead of the World Cup. Coach: Jose Pekerman - Gets much of the credit for getting Colombia back into the World Cup. Also led his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. JAPAN While the squad lacks the star power of many other World Cup teams, Japan can count on a group of reliable players with plenty of European experience. Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Okazaki of Leicester should play key roles. Japan finished first in Group B in Asian qualifying, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Australia. Key player: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) - With 92 caps, the midfield star is part of an experienced core of players also including Okazaki, defender Yuto Nagamoto and midfielder Keisuke Honda. Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic - Japan hope the 66-year-old Bosnian can replicate his success with Algeria at the 2014 World Cup, when he took the North African nation into the last-16 for the first time. Our prediction: Poland and Colombia to go through World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Colombia vs Japan: What time is kick-off tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Several Mexican players, including Javier Hernandez, were in tears after the final whistle. The exuberant Mexican fans caused what is believed to be a minor earthquake. Germany crashed to their first loss in a World Cup opener since 1982 as Mexico pulled off a shock 1-0 win. AFP One-nil read the scoreboard after 90 minutes. A stunner from Hirving Lozano set off such a commotion that seismic detectors in Mexico City registered a false earthquake, which the geological institute said may have been generated by 'massive jumps' across the city. Oh, and that led to chaos in the German camp. To an extent where Germany had six attackers and three defenders on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, while fit-again Manuel Neuer looked set to channelise his inner Peter Schmeichel in the opposition half. A German side was running out of options. Panicked. A rare sight. Contrary to the urgency shown by the four-time winners in the second half, the defending champions were stuttered in the first 45 minutes. Joachim Loew fielded four forwards upfront, leaving ample space for Mexican midfielders in the center of the park. Sami Khedira, who is tipped to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger, couldn’t adjust to the pace of Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado in a two-man midfield. The Mexican duo combined brilliantly to leave Toni Kroos, the midfield industry, dumbfounded. The Germans were so disoriented that with 14 minutes gone, Hector Moreno was offered ample space to head the opener from a free-kick. Yes, we are talking about the German defence, which was under constant pressure from the hungry Mexican players. Kroos and Khedira chased the ball like school kids as Mexican players ran past them with a succession of quick, counter-attacking blows. The duo failed to provide protection to the central defenders — Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who didn’t seem pleased with the shape of the team. Boateng's build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Mexico found acres of space to counter-attack through the midfield and as a result, Lozano steamrolled past the German defence to set the Luzhinki Stadium on fire. With Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller and Timo Werner all upfront, the attackers had very little time to support the midfield. Ozil and Draxler didn’t contribute defensively after losing possession in the opposition half. Low’s 4-2-3-1 looked out of place and creaky, with fox-in-the-box Muller spaced out on the right. The Mexican wingers often switched the flanks, depending on the space up front. To be precise, right from the first minute of the game, El Tri looked threatening with the ball and off it. They had a different setup that demanded high-pressing in their own half and break as quickly as possible. Ahead of the match, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said that his side was ready to upset four-time winners Germany, provided they realise that the clash is just another football match. It was a fearless performance from the El Tri which executed the game plan Osorio set out for them. After a rather bleak first half, Germany did try to equalise. They tried. There were flashes of brilliance from Draxler and Werner after the restart but Guillermo Ochoa denied the Nationalmannschaft from drawing level. As far as creativity is concerned, Ozil’s absent-mindedness as No 10, something he’s been guilty of doing that at Arsenal, made things worse for Loew. The 57-year-old manager replaced Khedira with Marco Reus to bring the best out of Ozil and inject more pace through the flanks. In reply to that, Osario introduced former Barcelona man Rafael Marquez, who played in his fifth World Cup aged 39, to add robustness at the back. Jose Mourinho would be smiling with pride after watching the Mexicans sit deep as they formed a ‘Mexican wall’ to stop the Germans from attacking, literally. However, the game was won in the midfield.Héctor Herrera's first half by numbers vs. #GER: 100% take-ons completed 80% tackles won 31 touches 6 take-ons 5 tackles 1 shot 1 interception Superb midfield display.  pic.twitter.com/WzDL4UNnIi — Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018Although Lozano’s strike was enough to tame the Germans, Herrera deserves to be given the credit for what Mexico were able to accomplish. No Mexican player finished with more accurate passes or tackles than the FC Porto man. In fact, it was his intervention that led to Lozano's goal in the first half. The 28-year-old had what Kroos’ midfield partner at Real Madrid Luka Modric has — energetic presence. Carlos Vela dropped deep on the break, which allowed Herrera to spread and spray passes forward, leaving the German midfield disoriented. Where was the German midfield? A legit question. Defensive blunders Fault lines in Germany's defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise. Low's eleven were exposed by Mexico's counter-attacking, and had the Mexicans been more accurate in their final third, they would not have had to worry about Germany's attack after the 88th minute. Boateng, all on his own, could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position. After the result, center-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game. This wasn’t a wake-up call, but the outcome of letting their opponents come all guns blazing. Which means that the problems first surfaced a couple of weeks before the tournament in Russia. "I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia). Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back." Marvin Plattenhardt replaced the ill Jonas Hector and was caught napping in the wide areas, while right-back Joshua Kimmich was failed to cover the ground after venturing forward. "It's pretty simple: we played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent," fumed the Bayern Munich defender. Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks. "We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half," the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF. "They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half, we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one," he added. The German attackers didn’t make most of their opportunities and often failed to find angles to cut in. Moreover, Ochoa made nine saves but most of the shots were straight at him. Maybe it’s time for Loew to take a leaf out of the successful 2014 campaign, where he adhered to a more conservative plan. Fielding a two-man midfield was nothing but suicidal when your team relies on a passing game. Clearly, Loew got his tactics wrong and Mexico deserved all the three points along with the plaudits. Draw for Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and a narrow loss for defending champions Germany. Is this a special edition in the making? Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018: Germany pay price for failing to stem Mexican waves as Joachim Low gets his tactics all wrong
Several Mexican players, including Javier Hernandez, were in tears after the final whistle. The exuberant Mexican fans caused what is believed to be a minor earthquake. Germany crashed to their first loss in a World Cup opener since 1982 as Mexico pulled off a shock 1-0 win. AFP One-nil read the scoreboard after 90 minutes. A stunner from Hirving Lozano set off such a commotion that seismic detectors in Mexico City registered a false earthquake, which the geological institute said may have been generated by 'massive jumps' across the city. Oh, and that led to chaos in the German camp. To an extent where Germany had six attackers and three defenders on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, while fit-again Manuel Neuer looked set to channelise his inner Peter Schmeichel in the opposition half. A German side was running out of options. Panicked. A rare sight. Contrary to the urgency shown by the four-time winners in the second half, the defending champions were stuttered in the first 45 minutes. Joachim Loew fielded four forwards upfront, leaving ample space for Mexican midfielders in the center of the park. Sami Khedira, who is tipped to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger, couldn’t adjust to the pace of Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado in a two-man midfield. The Mexican duo combined brilliantly to leave Toni Kroos, the midfield industry, dumbfounded. The Germans were so disoriented that with 14 minutes gone, Hector Moreno was offered ample space to head the opener from a free-kick. Yes, we are talking about the German defence, which was under constant pressure from the hungry Mexican players. Kroos and Khedira chased the ball like school kids as Mexican players ran past them with a succession of quick, counter-attacking blows. The duo failed to provide protection to the central defenders — Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who didn’t seem pleased with the shape of the team. Boateng's build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Mexico found acres of space to counter-attack through the midfield and as a result, Lozano steamrolled past the German defence to set the Luzhinki Stadium on fire. With Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller and Timo Werner all upfront, the attackers had very little time to support the midfield. Ozil and Draxler didn’t contribute defensively after losing possession in the opposition half. Low’s 4-2-3-1 looked out of place and creaky, with fox-in-the-box Muller spaced out on the right. The Mexican wingers often switched the flanks, depending on the space up front. To be precise, right from the first minute of the game, El Tri looked threatening with the ball and off it. They had a different setup that demanded high-pressing in their own half and break as quickly as possible. Ahead of the match, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said that his side was ready to upset four-time winners Germany, provided they realise that the clash is just another football match. It was a fearless performance from the El Tri which executed the game plan Osorio set out for them. After a rather bleak first half, Germany did try to equalise. They tried. There were flashes of brilliance from Draxler and Werner after the restart but Guillermo Ochoa denied the Nationalmannschaft from drawing level. As far as creativity is concerned, Ozil’s absent-mindedness as No 10, something he’s been guilty of doing that at Arsenal, made things worse for Loew. The 57-year-old manager replaced Khedira with Marco Reus to bring the best out of Ozil and inject more pace through the flanks. In reply to that, Osario introduced former Barcelona man Rafael Marquez, who played in his fifth World Cup aged 39, to add robustness at the back. Jose Mourinho would be smiling with pride after watching the Mexicans sit deep as they formed a ‘Mexican wall’ to stop the Germans from attacking, literally. However, the game was won in the midfield.Héctor Herrera's first half by numbers vs. #GER: 100% take-ons completed 80% tackles won 31 touches 6 take-ons 5 tackles 1 shot 1 interception Superb midfield display.  pic.twitter.com/WzDL4UNnIi — Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018Although Lozano’s strike was enough to tame the Germans, Herrera deserves to be given the credit for what Mexico were able to accomplish. No Mexican player finished with more accurate passes or tackles than the FC Porto man. In fact, it was his intervention that led to Lozano's goal in the first half. The 28-year-old had what Kroos’ midfield partner at Real Madrid Luka Modric has — energetic presence. Carlos Vela dropped deep on the break, which allowed Herrera to spread and spray passes forward, leaving the German midfield disoriented. Where was the German midfield? A legit question. Defensive blunders Fault lines in Germany's defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise. Low's eleven were exposed by Mexico's counter-attacking, and had the Mexicans been more accurate in their final third, they would not have had to worry about Germany's attack after the 88th minute. Boateng, all on his own, could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position. After the result, center-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game. This wasn’t a wake-up call, but the outcome of letting their opponents come all guns blazing. Which means that the problems first surfaced a couple of weeks before the tournament in Russia. "I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia). Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back." Marvin Plattenhardt replaced the ill Jonas Hector and was caught napping in the wide areas, while right-back Joshua Kimmich was failed to cover the ground after venturing forward. "It's pretty simple: we played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent," fumed the Bayern Munich defender. Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks. "We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half," the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF. "They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half, we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one," he added. The German attackers didn’t make most of their opportunities and often failed to find angles to cut in. Moreover, Ochoa made nine saves but most of the shots were straight at him. Maybe it’s time for Loew to take a leaf out of the successful 2014 campaign, where he adhered to a more conservative plan. Fielding a two-man midfield was nothing but suicidal when your team relies on a passing game. Clearly, Loew got his tactics wrong and Mexico deserved all the three points along with the plaudits. Draw for Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and a narrow loss for defending champions Germany. Is this a special edition in the making? Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018
Several Mexican players, including Javier Hernandez, were in tears after the final whistle. The exuberant Mexican fans caused what is believed to be a minor earthquake. Germany crashed to their first loss in a World Cup opener since 1982 as Mexico pulled off a shock 1-0 win. AFP One-nil read the scoreboard after 90 minutes. A stunner from Hirving Lozano set off such a commotion that seismic detectors in Mexico City registered a false earthquake, which the geological institute said may have been generated by 'massive jumps' across the city. Oh, and that led to chaos in the German camp. To an extent where Germany had six attackers and three defenders on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, while fit-again Manuel Neuer looked set to channelise his inner Peter Schmeichel in the opposition half. A German side was running out of options. Panicked. A rare sight. Contrary to the urgency shown by the four-time winners in the second half, the defending champions were stuttered in the first 45 minutes. Joachim Loew fielded four forwards upfront, leaving ample space for Mexican midfielders in the center of the park. Sami Khedira, who is tipped to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger, couldn’t adjust to the pace of Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado in a two-man midfield. The Mexican duo combined brilliantly to leave Toni Kroos, the midfield industry, dumbfounded. The Germans were so disoriented that with 14 minutes gone, Hector Moreno was offered ample space to head the opener from a free-kick. Yes, we are talking about the German defence, which was under constant pressure from the hungry Mexican players. Kroos and Khedira chased the ball like school kids as Mexican players ran past them with a succession of quick, counter-attacking blows. The duo failed to provide protection to the central defenders — Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who didn’t seem pleased with the shape of the team. Boateng's build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Mexico found acres of space to counter-attack through the midfield and as a result, Lozano steamrolled past the German defence to set the Luzhinki Stadium on fire. With Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller and Timo Werner all upfront, the attackers had very little time to support the midfield. Ozil and Draxler didn’t contribute defensively after losing possession in the opposition half. Low’s 4-2-3-1 looked out of place and creaky, with fox-in-the-box Muller spaced out on the right. The Mexican wingers often switched the flanks, depending on the space up front. To be precise, right from the first minute of the game, El Tri looked threatening with the ball and off it. They had a different setup that demanded high-pressing in their own half and break as quickly as possible. Ahead of the match, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said that his side was ready to upset four-time winners Germany, provided they realise that the clash is just another football match. It was a fearless performance from the El Tri which executed the game plan Osorio set out for them. After a rather bleak first half, Germany did try to equalise. They tried. There were flashes of brilliance from Draxler and Werner after the restart but Guillermo Ochoa denied the Nationalmannschaft from drawing level. As far as creativity is concerned, Ozil’s absent-mindedness as No 10, something he’s been guilty of doing that at Arsenal, made things worse for Loew. The 57-year-old manager replaced Khedira with Marco Reus to bring the best out of Ozil and inject more pace through the flanks. In reply to that, Osario introduced former Barcelona man Rafael Marquez, who played in his fifth World Cup aged 39, to add robustness at the back. Jose Mourinho would be smiling with pride after watching the Mexicans sit deep as they formed a ‘Mexican wall’ to stop the Germans from attacking, literally. However, the game was won in the midfield.Héctor Herrera's first half by numbers vs. #GER: 100% take-ons completed 80% tackles won 31 touches 6 take-ons 5 tackles 1 shot 1 interception Superb midfield display.  pic.twitter.com/WzDL4UNnIi — Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018Although Lozano’s strike was enough to tame the Germans, Herrera deserves to be given the credit for what Mexico were able to accomplish. No Mexican player finished with more accurate passes or tackles than the FC Porto man. In fact, it was his intervention that led to Lozano's goal in the first half. The 28-year-old had what Kroos’ midfield partner at Real Madrid Luka Modric has — energetic presence. Carlos Vela dropped deep on the break, which allowed Herrera to spread and spray passes forward, leaving the German midfield disoriented. Where was the German midfield? A legit question. Defensive blunders Fault lines in Germany's defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise. Low's eleven were exposed by Mexico's counter-attacking, and had the Mexicans been more accurate in their final third, they would not have had to worry about Germany's attack after the 88th minute. Boateng, all on his own, could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position. After the result, center-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game. This wasn’t a wake-up call, but the outcome of letting their opponents come all guns blazing. Which means that the problems first surfaced a couple of weeks before the tournament in Russia. "I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia). Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back." Marvin Plattenhardt replaced the ill Jonas Hector and was caught napping in the wide areas, while right-back Joshua Kimmich was failed to cover the ground after venturing forward. "It's pretty simple: we played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent," fumed the Bayern Munich defender. Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks. "We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half," the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF. "They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half, we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one," he added. The German attackers didn’t make most of their opportunities and often failed to find angles to cut in. Moreover, Ochoa made nine saves but most of the shots were straight at him. Maybe it’s time for Loew to take a leaf out of the successful 2014 campaign, where he adhered to a more conservative plan. Fielding a two-man midfield was nothing but suicidal when your team relies on a passing game. Clearly, Loew got his tactics wrong and Mexico deserved all the three points along with the plaudits. Draw for Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and a narrow loss for defending champions Germany. Is this a special edition in the making? Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018: Germany pay price for failing to stem Mexican waves as Joachim Low gets his tactics all wrong
Several Mexican players, including Javier Hernandez, were in tears after the final whistle. The exuberant Mexican fans caused what is believed to be a minor earthquake. Germany crashed to their first loss in a World Cup opener since 1982 as Mexico pulled off a shock 1-0 win. AFP One-nil read the scoreboard after 90 minutes. A stunner from Hirving Lozano set off such a commotion that seismic detectors in Mexico City registered a false earthquake, which the geological institute said may have been generated by 'massive jumps' across the city. Oh, and that led to chaos in the German camp. To an extent where Germany had six attackers and three defenders on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, while fit-again Manuel Neuer looked set to channelise his inner Peter Schmeichel in the opposition half. A German side was running out of options. Panicked. A rare sight. Contrary to the urgency shown by the four-time winners in the second half, the defending champions were stuttered in the first 45 minutes. Joachim Loew fielded four forwards upfront, leaving ample space for Mexican midfielders in the center of the park. Sami Khedira, who is tipped to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger, couldn’t adjust to the pace of Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado in a two-man midfield. The Mexican duo combined brilliantly to leave Toni Kroos, the midfield industry, dumbfounded. The Germans were so disoriented that with 14 minutes gone, Hector Moreno was offered ample space to head the opener from a free-kick. Yes, we are talking about the German defence, which was under constant pressure from the hungry Mexican players. Kroos and Khedira chased the ball like school kids as Mexican players ran past them with a succession of quick, counter-attacking blows. The duo failed to provide protection to the central defenders — Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who didn’t seem pleased with the shape of the team. Boateng's build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Mexico found acres of space to counter-attack through the midfield and as a result, Lozano steamrolled past the German defence to set the Luzhinki Stadium on fire. With Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller and Timo Werner all upfront, the attackers had very little time to support the midfield. Ozil and Draxler didn’t contribute defensively after losing possession in the opposition half. Low’s 4-2-3-1 looked out of place and creaky, with fox-in-the-box Muller spaced out on the right. The Mexican wingers often switched the flanks, depending on the space up front. To be precise, right from the first minute of the game, El Tri looked threatening with the ball and off it. They had a different setup that demanded high-pressing in their own half and break as quickly as possible. Ahead of the match, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said that his side was ready to upset four-time winners Germany, provided they realise that the clash is just another football match. It was a fearless performance from the El Tri which executed the game plan Osorio set out for them. After a rather bleak first half, Germany did try to equalise. They tried. There were flashes of brilliance from Draxler and Werner after the restart but Guillermo Ochoa denied the Nationalmannschaft from drawing level. As far as creativity is concerned, Ozil’s absent-mindedness as No 10, something he’s been guilty of doing that at Arsenal, made things worse for Loew. The 57-year-old manager replaced Khedira with Marco Reus to bring the best out of Ozil and inject more pace through the flanks. In reply to that, Osario introduced former Barcelona man Rafael Marquez, who played in his fifth World Cup aged 39, to add robustness at the back. Jose Mourinho would be smiling with pride after watching the Mexicans sit deep as they formed a ‘Mexican wall’ to stop the Germans from attacking, literally. However, the game was won in the midfield.Héctor Herrera's first half by numbers vs. #GER: 100% take-ons completed 80% tackles won 31 touches 6 take-ons 5 tackles 1 shot 1 interception Superb midfield display.  pic.twitter.com/WzDL4UNnIi — Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018Although Lozano’s strike was enough to tame the Germans, Herrera deserves to be given the credit for what Mexico were able to accomplish. No Mexican player finished with more accurate passes or tackles than the FC Porto man. In fact, it was his intervention that led to Lozano's goal in the first half. The 28-year-old had what Kroos’ midfield partner at Real Madrid Luka Modric has — energetic presence. Carlos Vela dropped deep on the break, which allowed Herrera to spread and spray passes forward, leaving the German midfield disoriented. Where was the German midfield? A legit question. Defensive blunders Fault lines in Germany's defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise. Low's eleven were exposed by Mexico's counter-attacking, and had the Mexicans been more accurate in their final third, they would not have had to worry about Germany's attack after the 88th minute. Boateng, all on his own, could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position. After the result, center-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game. This wasn’t a wake-up call, but the outcome of letting their opponents come all guns blazing. Which means that the problems first surfaced a couple of weeks before the tournament in Russia. "I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia). Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back." Marvin Plattenhardt replaced the ill Jonas Hector and was caught napping in the wide areas, while right-back Joshua Kimmich was failed to cover the ground after venturing forward. "It's pretty simple: we played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent," fumed the Bayern Munich defender. Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks. "We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half," the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF. "They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half, we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one," he added. The German attackers didn’t make most of their opportunities and often failed to find angles to cut in. Moreover, Ochoa made nine saves but most of the shots were straight at him. Maybe it’s time for Loew to take a leaf out of the successful 2014 campaign, where he adhered to a more conservative plan. Fielding a two-man midfield was nothing but suicidal when your team relies on a passing game. Clearly, Loew got his tactics wrong and Mexico deserved all the three points along with the plaudits. Draw for Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and a narrow loss for defending champions Germany. Is this a special edition in the making? Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018
Several Mexican players, including Javier Hernandez, were in tears after the final whistle. The exuberant Mexican fans caused what is believed to be a minor earthquake. Germany crashed to their first loss in a World Cup opener since 1982 as Mexico pulled off a shock 1-0 win. AFP One-nil read the scoreboard after 90 minutes. A stunner from Hirving Lozano set off such a commotion that seismic detectors in Mexico City registered a false earthquake, which the geological institute said may have been generated by 'massive jumps' across the city. Oh, and that led to chaos in the German camp. To an extent where Germany had six attackers and three defenders on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, while fit-again Manuel Neuer looked set to channelise his inner Peter Schmeichel in the opposition half. A German side was running out of options. Panicked. A rare sight. Contrary to the urgency shown by the four-time winners in the second half, the defending champions were stuttered in the first 45 minutes. Joachim Loew fielded four forwards upfront, leaving ample space for Mexican midfielders in the center of the park. Sami Khedira, who is tipped to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger, couldn’t adjust to the pace of Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado in a two-man midfield. The Mexican duo combined brilliantly to leave Toni Kroos, the midfield industry, dumbfounded. The Germans were so disoriented that with 14 minutes gone, Hector Moreno was offered ample space to head the opener from a free-kick. Yes, we are talking about the German defence, which was under constant pressure from the hungry Mexican players. Kroos and Khedira chased the ball like school kids as Mexican players ran past them with a succession of quick, counter-attacking blows. The duo failed to provide protection to the central defenders — Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who didn’t seem pleased with the shape of the team. Boateng's build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Mexico found acres of space to counter-attack through the midfield and as a result, Lozano steamrolled past the German defence to set the Luzhinki Stadium on fire. With Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller and Timo Werner all upfront, the attackers had very little time to support the midfield. Ozil and Draxler didn’t contribute defensively after losing possession in the opposition half. Low’s 4-2-3-1 looked out of place and creaky, with fox-in-the-box Muller spaced out on the right. The Mexican wingers often switched the flanks, depending on the space up front. To be precise, right from the first minute of the game, El Tri looked threatening with the ball and off it. They had a different setup that demanded high-pressing in their own half and break as quickly as possible. Ahead of the match, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said that his side was ready to upset four-time winners Germany, provided they realise that the clash is just another football match. It was a fearless performance from the El Tri which executed the game plan Osorio set out for them. After a rather bleak first half, Germany did try to equalise. They tried. There were flashes of brilliance from Draxler and Werner after the restart but Guillermo Ochoa denied the Nationalmannschaft from drawing level. As far as creativity is concerned, Ozil’s absent-mindedness as No 10, something he’s been guilty of doing that at Arsenal, made things worse for Loew. The 57-year-old manager replaced Khedira with Marco Reus to bring the best out of Ozil and inject more pace through the flanks. In reply to that, Osario introduced former Barcelona man Rafael Marquez, who played in his fifth World Cup aged 39, to add robustness at the back. Jose Mourinho would be smiling with pride after watching the Mexicans sit deep as they formed a ‘Mexican wall’ to stop the Germans from attacking, literally. However, the game was won in the midfield.Héctor Herrera's first half by numbers vs. #GER: 100% take-ons completed 80% tackles won 31 touches 6 take-ons 5 tackles 1 shot 1 interception Superb midfield display.  pic.twitter.com/WzDL4UNnIi — Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018Although Lozano’s strike was enough to tame the Germans, Herrera deserves to be given the credit for what Mexico were able to accomplish. No Mexican player finished with more accurate passes or tackles than the FC Porto man. In fact, it was his intervention that led to Lozano's goal in the first half. The 28-year-old had what Kroos’ midfield partner at Real Madrid Luka Modric has — energetic presence. Carlos Vela dropped deep on the break, which allowed Herrera to spread and spray passes forward, leaving the German midfield disoriented. Where was the German midfield? A legit question. Defensive blunders Fault lines in Germany's defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise. Low's eleven were exposed by Mexico's counter-attacking, and had the Mexicans been more accurate in their final third, they would not have had to worry about Germany's attack after the 88th minute. Boateng, all on his own, could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position. After the result, center-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game. This wasn’t a wake-up call, but the outcome of letting their opponents come all guns blazing. Which means that the problems first surfaced a couple of weeks before the tournament in Russia. "I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia). Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back." Marvin Plattenhardt replaced the ill Jonas Hector and was caught napping in the wide areas, while right-back Joshua Kimmich was failed to cover the ground after venturing forward. "It's pretty simple: we played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent," fumed the Bayern Munich defender. Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks. "We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half," the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF. "They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half, we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one," he added. The German attackers didn’t make most of their opportunities and often failed to find angles to cut in. Moreover, Ochoa made nine saves but most of the shots were straight at him. Maybe it’s time for Loew to take a leaf out of the successful 2014 campaign, where he adhered to a more conservative plan. Fielding a two-man midfield was nothing but suicidal when your team relies on a passing game. Clearly, Loew got his tactics wrong and Mexico deserved all the three points along with the plaudits. Draw for Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and a narrow loss for defending champions Germany. Is this a special edition in the making? Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018: Germany pay price for failing to stem Mexican waves as Joachim Low gets his tactics all wrong
Several Mexican players, including Javier Hernandez, were in tears after the final whistle. The exuberant Mexican fans caused what is believed to be a minor earthquake. Germany crashed to their first loss in a World Cup opener since 1982 as Mexico pulled off a shock 1-0 win. AFP One-nil read the scoreboard after 90 minutes. A stunner from Hirving Lozano set off such a commotion that seismic detectors in Mexico City registered a false earthquake, which the geological institute said may have been generated by 'massive jumps' across the city. Oh, and that led to chaos in the German camp. To an extent where Germany had six attackers and three defenders on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, while fit-again Manuel Neuer looked set to channelise his inner Peter Schmeichel in the opposition half. A German side was running out of options. Panicked. A rare sight. Contrary to the urgency shown by the four-time winners in the second half, the defending champions were stuttered in the first 45 minutes. Joachim Loew fielded four forwards upfront, leaving ample space for Mexican midfielders in the center of the park. Sami Khedira, who is tipped to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger, couldn’t adjust to the pace of Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado in a two-man midfield. The Mexican duo combined brilliantly to leave Toni Kroos, the midfield industry, dumbfounded. The Germans were so disoriented that with 14 minutes gone, Hector Moreno was offered ample space to head the opener from a free-kick. Yes, we are talking about the German defence, which was under constant pressure from the hungry Mexican players. Kroos and Khedira chased the ball like school kids as Mexican players ran past them with a succession of quick, counter-attacking blows. The duo failed to provide protection to the central defenders — Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who didn’t seem pleased with the shape of the team. Boateng's build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Mexico found acres of space to counter-attack through the midfield and as a result, Lozano steamrolled past the German defence to set the Luzhinki Stadium on fire. With Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller and Timo Werner all upfront, the attackers had very little time to support the midfield. Ozil and Draxler didn’t contribute defensively after losing possession in the opposition half. Low’s 4-2-3-1 looked out of place and creaky, with fox-in-the-box Muller spaced out on the right. The Mexican wingers often switched the flanks, depending on the space up front. To be precise, right from the first minute of the game, El Tri looked threatening with the ball and off it. They had a different setup that demanded high-pressing in their own half and break as quickly as possible. Ahead of the match, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said that his side was ready to upset four-time winners Germany, provided they realise that the clash is just another football match. It was a fearless performance from the El Tri which executed the game plan Osorio set out for them. After a rather bleak first half, Germany did try to equalise. They tried. There were flashes of brilliance from Draxler and Werner after the restart but Guillermo Ochoa denied the Nationalmannschaft from drawing level. As far as creativity is concerned, Ozil’s absent-mindedness as No 10, something he’s been guilty of doing that at Arsenal, made things worse for Loew. The 57-year-old manager replaced Khedira with Marco Reus to bring the best out of Ozil and inject more pace through the flanks. In reply to that, Osario introduced former Barcelona man Rafael Marquez, who played in his fifth World Cup aged 39, to add robustness at the back. Jose Mourinho would be smiling with pride after watching the Mexicans sit deep as they formed a ‘Mexican wall’ to stop the Germans from attacking, literally. However, the game was won in the midfield.Héctor Herrera's first half by numbers vs. #GER: 100% take-ons completed 80% tackles won 31 touches 6 take-ons 5 tackles 1 shot 1 interception Superb midfield display.  pic.twitter.com/WzDL4UNnIi — Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018Although Lozano’s strike was enough to tame the Germans, Herrera deserves to be given the credit for what Mexico were able to accomplish. No Mexican player finished with more accurate passes or tackles than the FC Porto man. In fact, it was his intervention that led to Lozano's goal in the first half. The 28-year-old had what Kroos’ midfield partner at Real Madrid Luka Modric has — energetic presence. Carlos Vela dropped deep on the break, which allowed Herrera to spread and spray passes forward, leaving the German midfield disoriented. Where was the German midfield? A legit question. Defensive blunders Fault lines in Germany's defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise. Low's eleven were exposed by Mexico's counter-attacking, and had the Mexicans been more accurate in their final third, they would not have had to worry about Germany's attack after the 88th minute. Boateng, all on his own, could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position. After the result, center-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game. This wasn’t a wake-up call, but the outcome of letting their opponents come all guns blazing. Which means that the problems first surfaced a couple of weeks before the tournament in Russia. "I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia). Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back." Marvin Plattenhardt replaced the ill Jonas Hector and was caught napping in the wide areas, while right-back Joshua Kimmich was failed to cover the ground after venturing forward. "It's pretty simple: we played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent," fumed the Bayern Munich defender. Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks. "We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half," the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF. "They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half, we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one," he added. The German attackers didn’t make most of their opportunities and often failed to find angles to cut in. Moreover, Ochoa made nine saves but most of the shots were straight at him. Maybe it’s time for Loew to take a leaf out of the successful 2014 campaign, where he adhered to a more conservative plan. Fielding a two-man midfield was nothing but suicidal when your team relies on a passing game. Clearly, Loew got his tactics wrong and Mexico deserved all the three points along with the plaudits. Draw for Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and a narrow loss for defending champions Germany. Is this a special edition in the making? Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018
Several Mexican players, including Javier Hernandez, were in tears after the final whistle. The exuberant Mexican fans caused what is believed to be a minor earthquake. Germany crashed to their first loss in a World Cup opener since 1982 as Mexico pulled off a shock 1-0 win. AFP One-nil read the scoreboard after 90 minutes. A stunner from Hirving Lozano set off such a commotion that seismic detectors in Mexico City registered a false earthquake, which the geological institute said may have been generated by 'massive jumps' across the city. Oh, and that led to chaos in the German camp. To an extent where Germany had six attackers and three defenders on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, while fit-again Manuel Neuer looked set to channelise his inner Peter Schmeichel in the opposition half. A German side was running out of options. Panicked. A rare sight. Contrary to the urgency shown by the four-time winners in the second half, the defending champions were stuttered in the first 45 minutes. Joachim Loew fielded four forwards upfront, leaving ample space for Mexican midfielders in the center of the park. Sami Khedira, who is tipped to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger, couldn’t adjust to the pace of Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado in a two-man midfield. The Mexican duo combined brilliantly to leave Toni Kroos, the midfield industry, dumbfounded. The Germans were so disoriented that with 14 minutes gone, Hector Moreno was offered ample space to head the opener from a free-kick. Yes, we are talking about the German defence, which was under constant pressure from the hungry Mexican players. Kroos and Khedira chased the ball like school kids as Mexican players ran past them with a succession of quick, counter-attacking blows. The duo failed to provide protection to the central defenders — Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who didn’t seem pleased with the shape of the team. Boateng's build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Mexico found acres of space to counter-attack through the midfield and as a result, Lozano steamrolled past the German defence to set the Luzhinki Stadium on fire. With Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller and Timo Werner all upfront, the attackers had very little time to support the midfield. Ozil and Draxler didn’t contribute defensively after losing possession in the opposition half. Low’s 4-2-3-1 looked out of place and creaky, with fox-in-the-box Muller spaced out on the right. The Mexican wingers often switched the flanks, depending on the space up front. To be precise, right from the first minute of the game, El Tri looked threatening with the ball and off it. They had a different setup that demanded high-pressing in their own half and break as quickly as possible. Ahead of the match, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said that his side was ready to upset four-time winners Germany, provided they realise that the clash is just another football match. It was a fearless performance from the El Tri which executed the game plan Osorio set out for them. After a rather bleak first half, Germany did try to equalise. They tried. There were flashes of brilliance from Draxler and Werner after the restart but Guillermo Ochoa denied the Nationalmannschaft from drawing level. As far as creativity is concerned, Ozil’s absent-mindedness as No 10, something he’s been guilty of doing that at Arsenal, made things worse for Loew. The 57-year-old manager replaced Khedira with Marco Reus to bring the best out of Ozil and inject more pace through the flanks. In reply to that, Osario introduced former Barcelona man Rafael Marquez, who played in his fifth World Cup aged 39, to add robustness at the back. Jose Mourinho would be smiling with pride after watching the Mexicans sit deep as they formed a ‘Mexican wall’ to stop the Germans from attacking, literally. However, the game was won in the midfield.Héctor Herrera's first half by numbers vs. #GER: 100% take-ons completed 80% tackles won 31 touches 6 take-ons 5 tackles 1 shot 1 interception Superb midfield display.  pic.twitter.com/WzDL4UNnIi — Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018Although Lozano’s strike was enough to tame the Germans, Herrera deserves to be given the credit for what Mexico were able to accomplish. No Mexican player finished with more accurate passes or tackles than the FC Porto man. In fact, it was his intervention that led to Lozano's goal in the first half. The 28-year-old had what Kroos’ midfield partner at Real Madrid Luka Modric has — energetic presence. Carlos Vela dropped deep on the break, which allowed Herrera to spread and spray passes forward, leaving the German midfield disoriented. Where was the German midfield? A legit question. Defensive blunders Fault lines in Germany's defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise. Low's eleven were exposed by Mexico's counter-attacking, and had the Mexicans been more accurate in their final third, they would not have had to worry about Germany's attack after the 88th minute. Boateng, all on his own, could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position. After the result, center-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game. This wasn’t a wake-up call, but the outcome of letting their opponents come all guns blazing. Which means that the problems first surfaced a couple of weeks before the tournament in Russia. "I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia). Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back." Marvin Plattenhardt replaced the ill Jonas Hector and was caught napping in the wide areas, while right-back Joshua Kimmich was failed to cover the ground after venturing forward. "It's pretty simple: we played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent," fumed the Bayern Munich defender. Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks. "We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half," the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF. "They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half, we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one," he added. The German attackers didn’t make most of their opportunities and often failed to find angles to cut in. Moreover, Ochoa made nine saves but most of the shots were straight at him. Maybe it’s time for Loew to take a leaf out of the successful 2014 campaign, where he adhered to a more conservative plan. Fielding a two-man midfield was nothing but suicidal when your team relies on a passing game. Clearly, Loew got his tactics wrong and Mexico deserved all the three points along with the plaudits. Draw for Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and a narrow loss for defending champions Germany. Is this a special edition in the making? Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018: Germany pay price for failing to stem Mexican waves as Joachim Low gets his tactics all wrong
Several Mexican players, including Javier Hernandez, were in tears after the final whistle. The exuberant Mexican fans caused what is believed to be a minor earthquake. Germany crashed to their first loss in a World Cup opener since 1982 as Mexico pulled off a shock 1-0 win. AFP One-nil read the scoreboard after 90 minutes. A stunner from Hirving Lozano set off such a commotion that seismic detectors in Mexico City registered a false earthquake, which the geological institute said may have been generated by 'massive jumps' across the city. Oh, and that led to chaos in the German camp. To an extent where Germany had six attackers and three defenders on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, while fit-again Manuel Neuer looked set to channelise his inner Peter Schmeichel in the opposition half. A German side was running out of options. Panicked. A rare sight. Contrary to the urgency shown by the four-time winners in the second half, the defending champions were stuttered in the first 45 minutes. Joachim Loew fielded four forwards upfront, leaving ample space for Mexican midfielders in the center of the park. Sami Khedira, who is tipped to fill the void left by Bastian Schweinsteiger, couldn’t adjust to the pace of Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado in a two-man midfield. The Mexican duo combined brilliantly to leave Toni Kroos, the midfield industry, dumbfounded. The Germans were so disoriented that with 14 minutes gone, Hector Moreno was offered ample space to head the opener from a free-kick. Yes, we are talking about the German defence, which was under constant pressure from the hungry Mexican players. Kroos and Khedira chased the ball like school kids as Mexican players ran past them with a succession of quick, counter-attacking blows. The duo failed to provide protection to the central defenders — Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, who didn’t seem pleased with the shape of the team. Boateng's build-up to the World Cup was hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack. Mexico found acres of space to counter-attack through the midfield and as a result, Lozano steamrolled past the German defence to set the Luzhinki Stadium on fire. With Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Thomas Muller and Timo Werner all upfront, the attackers had very little time to support the midfield. Ozil and Draxler didn’t contribute defensively after losing possession in the opposition half. Low’s 4-2-3-1 looked out of place and creaky, with fox-in-the-box Muller spaced out on the right. The Mexican wingers often switched the flanks, depending on the space up front. To be precise, right from the first minute of the game, El Tri looked threatening with the ball and off it. They had a different setup that demanded high-pressing in their own half and break as quickly as possible. Ahead of the match, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said that his side was ready to upset four-time winners Germany, provided they realise that the clash is just another football match. It was a fearless performance from the El Tri which executed the game plan Osorio set out for them. After a rather bleak first half, Germany did try to equalise. They tried. There were flashes of brilliance from Draxler and Werner after the restart but Guillermo Ochoa denied the Nationalmannschaft from drawing level. As far as creativity is concerned, Ozil’s absent-mindedness as No 10, something he’s been guilty of doing that at Arsenal, made things worse for Loew. The 57-year-old manager replaced Khedira with Marco Reus to bring the best out of Ozil and inject more pace through the flanks. In reply to that, Osario introduced former Barcelona man Rafael Marquez, who played in his fifth World Cup aged 39, to add robustness at the back. Jose Mourinho would be smiling with pride after watching the Mexicans sit deep as they formed a ‘Mexican wall’ to stop the Germans from attacking, literally. However, the game was won in the midfield.Héctor Herrera's first half by numbers vs. #GER: 100% take-ons completed 80% tackles won 31 touches 6 take-ons 5 tackles 1 shot 1 interception Superb midfield display.  pic.twitter.com/WzDL4UNnIi — Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 17, 2018Although Lozano’s strike was enough to tame the Germans, Herrera deserves to be given the credit for what Mexico were able to accomplish. No Mexican player finished with more accurate passes or tackles than the FC Porto man. In fact, it was his intervention that led to Lozano's goal in the first half. The 28-year-old had what Kroos’ midfield partner at Real Madrid Luka Modric has — energetic presence. Carlos Vela dropped deep on the break, which allowed Herrera to spread and spray passes forward, leaving the German midfield disoriented. Where was the German midfield? A legit question. Defensive blunders Fault lines in Germany's defence have been visible in recent games and Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat to Mexico should not really be seen as a surprise. Low's eleven were exposed by Mexico's counter-attacking, and had the Mexicans been more accurate in their final third, they would not have had to worry about Germany's attack after the 88th minute. Boateng, all on his own, could not snuff out the danger during the crucial break and Hummels was out of position. After the result, center-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game. This wasn’t a wake-up call, but the outcome of letting their opponents come all guns blazing. Which means that the problems first surfaced a couple of weeks before the tournament in Russia. "I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia). Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back." Marvin Plattenhardt replaced the ill Jonas Hector and was caught napping in the wide areas, while right-back Joshua Kimmich was failed to cover the ground after venturing forward. "It's pretty simple: we played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent," fumed the Bayern Munich defender. Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks. "We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half," the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF. "They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half, we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one," he added. The German attackers didn’t make most of their opportunities and often failed to find angles to cut in. Moreover, Ochoa made nine saves but most of the shots were straight at him. Maybe it’s time for Loew to take a leaf out of the successful 2014 campaign, where he adhered to a more conservative plan. Fielding a two-man midfield was nothing but suicidal when your team relies on a passing game. Clearly, Loew got his tactics wrong and Mexico deserved all the three points along with the plaudits. Draw for Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and a narrow loss for defending champions Germany. Is this a special edition in the making? Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018 Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018
Bayern Munich and Poland star Robert Lewandowski has long been one of Europe's best strikers but feels he is only just entering his prime.
Lewandowski: I can be at the top until I'm 35
Bayern Munich and Poland star Robert Lewandowski has long been one of Europe's best strikers but feels he is only just entering his prime.
The reaction from Juan Carlos ­Osorio to being told that an ­earthquake had registered in ­Mexico City amid the celebrations for Hirving Lozano’s winning goal against Germany told you ­everything about why this perhaps should not register quite so highly on the Richter scale of World Cup upsets. “It did!?” said the Mexico ­manager. “When we scored I sat down, thought about the plan and how not to concede over the next five minutes.” Osorio is nicknamed the “Professor” and his planning ­famously extends to copious notes and ring-binders, but delve even deeper into his remarkable journey to football’s greatest stage and the suspicion only grows that there will be no more meticulously prepared team in Russia. He had certainly identified Germany’s weaknesses with forensic accuracy here and his players were duly superb in executing a ­game plan that ruthlessly exploited a ­position that was supposed to be Germany’s great strength. Joshua Kimmich has been regularly hailed as the best right-back in the world over the past year for the way he bombs forward, creates chances and scores goals. The flipside, however, is that he also leaves great spaces behind him. For Bayern Munich, usually so dominant and secure in possession, it is rarely noticed. But starting alongside two centre-backs ­approaching 30 and the potential hazards against a fast, well drilled and technical adept opposition soon became clear. And this is just exactly what Mexico have become under the charismatic Osorio, who has now won 32 of his 48 matches as manager. Osorio would have known that Germany would be dominant in possession but, in clearly targeting the big spaces down the defending champions’ right with counter-­attacks, their threat persisted even while largely camped in their own half for the final 45 minutes. Celebrations in Mexico City registered on the Richter Scale Credit: REUTERS/Gustavo Graf Born in Colombia, Osorio saw his career as a player ended by injury at the age of 26, but his determination to succeed as a coach was extraordinary. According to the New York Times, he moved to the United States as an illegal immigrant, working in construction and food service, before regained his legal status and then completing a ­degree in exercise science at Southern Connecticut State University. He sold many of his belongings to travel to Liverpool to study ­football and science at John Moores University and it was here that, ­after asking to borrow a ladder from a family who lived adjacent to Liverpool’s Melwood training ground, he would secretly watch Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier at work. Jobs in sports science followed at Major League Soccer and then with Manchester City, but he never stopped pushing to learn and ­persuaded just about all the biggest managerial names in Europe to let him study them at work. The ring-binders were growing ever thicker and opportunities to put his ­theories in practice would follow in Colombia, the United States and Brazil, before taking the Mexico job in 2015. Osorio His tactical methods, which ­centre largely on creating ­unpredictable patterns of movement among his strikers through repetitive practice, have been ­described by Mexico’s record ­goalscorer Javier Hernández as ­bordering on “genius”. Osorio has said that he wants Mexico “to take movement to new levels”. Results have also followed, even if supporters have been ­curiously slow to celebrate a team who topped Concacaf’s World Cup qualifying and reached the quarter-finals of the Copa America and then the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. “They’re not happy with us ­winning,” said Osorio. “We have to win and humiliate the opposition. There is no country in the world that keeps so much pressure on a national team coach.” Expectations will now also follow after this marvellous performance, even if Osorio naturally has a plan. “We will work on psychology – we have videos, movies and set phrases,” he said. “I carry the burden of pressure. The players should enjoy the game and play football like they did today against Germany. When they win, they take the credit. When they lose, I will take the blame.” And so what were his last words before a match that has, quite literally, reverberated almost 7,000 miles back across the world? “Focus on the beautiful game,” said Osorio. “Play for the love of winning, not the fear of losing.” WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Juan Carlos Osorio takes the strain and teaches Mexico to play for the love of winning
The reaction from Juan Carlos ­Osorio to being told that an ­earthquake had registered in ­Mexico City amid the celebrations for Hirving Lozano’s winning goal against Germany told you ­everything about why this perhaps should not register quite so highly on the Richter scale of World Cup upsets. “It did!?” said the Mexico ­manager. “When we scored I sat down, thought about the plan and how not to concede over the next five minutes.” Osorio is nicknamed the “Professor” and his planning ­famously extends to copious notes and ring-binders, but delve even deeper into his remarkable journey to football’s greatest stage and the suspicion only grows that there will be no more meticulously prepared team in Russia. He had certainly identified Germany’s weaknesses with forensic accuracy here and his players were duly superb in executing a ­game plan that ruthlessly exploited a ­position that was supposed to be Germany’s great strength. Joshua Kimmich has been regularly hailed as the best right-back in the world over the past year for the way he bombs forward, creates chances and scores goals. The flipside, however, is that he also leaves great spaces behind him. For Bayern Munich, usually so dominant and secure in possession, it is rarely noticed. But starting alongside two centre-backs ­approaching 30 and the potential hazards against a fast, well drilled and technical adept opposition soon became clear. And this is just exactly what Mexico have become under the charismatic Osorio, who has now won 32 of his 48 matches as manager. Osorio would have known that Germany would be dominant in possession but, in clearly targeting the big spaces down the defending champions’ right with counter-­attacks, their threat persisted even while largely camped in their own half for the final 45 minutes. Celebrations in Mexico City registered on the Richter Scale Credit: REUTERS/Gustavo Graf Born in Colombia, Osorio saw his career as a player ended by injury at the age of 26, but his determination to succeed as a coach was extraordinary. According to the New York Times, he moved to the United States as an illegal immigrant, working in construction and food service, before regained his legal status and then completing a ­degree in exercise science at Southern Connecticut State University. He sold many of his belongings to travel to Liverpool to study ­football and science at John Moores University and it was here that, ­after asking to borrow a ladder from a family who lived adjacent to Liverpool’s Melwood training ground, he would secretly watch Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier at work. Jobs in sports science followed at Major League Soccer and then with Manchester City, but he never stopped pushing to learn and ­persuaded just about all the biggest managerial names in Europe to let him study them at work. The ring-binders were growing ever thicker and opportunities to put his ­theories in practice would follow in Colombia, the United States and Brazil, before taking the Mexico job in 2015. Osorio His tactical methods, which ­centre largely on creating ­unpredictable patterns of movement among his strikers through repetitive practice, have been ­described by Mexico’s record ­goalscorer Javier Hernández as ­bordering on “genius”. Osorio has said that he wants Mexico “to take movement to new levels”. Results have also followed, even if supporters have been ­curiously slow to celebrate a team who topped Concacaf’s World Cup qualifying and reached the quarter-finals of the Copa America and then the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. “They’re not happy with us ­winning,” said Osorio. “We have to win and humiliate the opposition. There is no country in the world that keeps so much pressure on a national team coach.” Expectations will now also follow after this marvellous performance, even if Osorio naturally has a plan. “We will work on psychology – we have videos, movies and set phrases,” he said. “I carry the burden of pressure. The players should enjoy the game and play football like they did today against Germany. When they win, they take the credit. When they lose, I will take the blame.” And so what were his last words before a match that has, quite literally, reverberated almost 7,000 miles back across the world? “Focus on the beautiful game,” said Osorio. “Play for the love of winning, not the fear of losing.” WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The reaction from Juan Carlos ­Osorio to being told that an ­earthquake had registered in ­Mexico City amid the celebrations for Hirving Lozano’s winning goal against Germany told you ­everything about why this perhaps should not register quite so highly on the Richter scale of World Cup upsets. “It did!?” said the Mexico ­manager. “When we scored I sat down, thought about the plan and how not to concede over the next five minutes.” Osorio is nicknamed the “Professor” and his planning ­famously extends to copious notes and ring-binders, but delve even deeper into his remarkable journey to football’s greatest stage and the suspicion only grows that there will be no more meticulously prepared team in Russia. He had certainly identified Germany’s weaknesses with forensic accuracy here and his players were duly superb in executing a ­game plan that ruthlessly exploited a ­position that was supposed to be Germany’s great strength. Joshua Kimmich has been regularly hailed as the best right-back in the world over the past year for the way he bombs forward, creates chances and scores goals. The flipside, however, is that he also leaves great spaces behind him. For Bayern Munich, usually so dominant and secure in possession, it is rarely noticed. But starting alongside two centre-backs ­approaching 30 and the potential hazards against a fast, well drilled and technical adept opposition soon became clear. And this is just exactly what Mexico have become under the charismatic Osorio, who has now won 32 of his 48 matches as manager. Osorio would have known that Germany would be dominant in possession but, in clearly targeting the big spaces down the defending champions’ right with counter-­attacks, their threat persisted even while largely camped in their own half for the final 45 minutes. Celebrations in Mexico City registered on the Richter Scale Credit: REUTERS/Gustavo Graf Born in Colombia, Osorio saw his career as a player ended by injury at the age of 26, but his determination to succeed as a coach was extraordinary. According to the New York Times, he moved to the United States as an illegal immigrant, working in construction and food service, before regained his legal status and then completing a ­degree in exercise science at Southern Connecticut State University. He sold many of his belongings to travel to Liverpool to study ­football and science at John Moores University and it was here that, ­after asking to borrow a ladder from a family who lived adjacent to Liverpool’s Melwood training ground, he would secretly watch Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier at work. Jobs in sports science followed at Major League Soccer and then with Manchester City, but he never stopped pushing to learn and ­persuaded just about all the biggest managerial names in Europe to let him study them at work. The ring-binders were growing ever thicker and opportunities to put his ­theories in practice would follow in Colombia, the United States and Brazil, before taking the Mexico job in 2015. Osorio His tactical methods, which ­centre largely on creating ­unpredictable patterns of movement among his strikers through repetitive practice, have been ­described by Mexico’s record ­goalscorer Javier Hernández as ­bordering on “genius”. Osorio has said that he wants Mexico “to take movement to new levels”. Results have also followed, even if supporters have been ­curiously slow to celebrate a team who topped Concacaf’s World Cup qualifying and reached the quarter-finals of the Copa America and then the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. “They’re not happy with us ­winning,” said Osorio. “We have to win and humiliate the opposition. There is no country in the world that keeps so much pressure on a national team coach.” Expectations will now also follow after this marvellous performance, even if Osorio naturally has a plan. “We will work on psychology – we have videos, movies and set phrases,” he said. “I carry the burden of pressure. The players should enjoy the game and play football like they did today against Germany. When they win, they take the credit. When they lose, I will take the blame.” And so what were his last words before a match that has, quite literally, reverberated almost 7,000 miles back across the world? “Focus on the beautiful game,” said Osorio. “Play for the love of winning, not the fear of losing.” WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Juan Carlos Osorio takes the strain and teaches Mexico to play for the love of winning
The reaction from Juan Carlos ­Osorio to being told that an ­earthquake had registered in ­Mexico City amid the celebrations for Hirving Lozano’s winning goal against Germany told you ­everything about why this perhaps should not register quite so highly on the Richter scale of World Cup upsets. “It did!?” said the Mexico ­manager. “When we scored I sat down, thought about the plan and how not to concede over the next five minutes.” Osorio is nicknamed the “Professor” and his planning ­famously extends to copious notes and ring-binders, but delve even deeper into his remarkable journey to football’s greatest stage and the suspicion only grows that there will be no more meticulously prepared team in Russia. He had certainly identified Germany’s weaknesses with forensic accuracy here and his players were duly superb in executing a ­game plan that ruthlessly exploited a ­position that was supposed to be Germany’s great strength. Joshua Kimmich has been regularly hailed as the best right-back in the world over the past year for the way he bombs forward, creates chances and scores goals. The flipside, however, is that he also leaves great spaces behind him. For Bayern Munich, usually so dominant and secure in possession, it is rarely noticed. But starting alongside two centre-backs ­approaching 30 and the potential hazards against a fast, well drilled and technical adept opposition soon became clear. And this is just exactly what Mexico have become under the charismatic Osorio, who has now won 32 of his 48 matches as manager. Osorio would have known that Germany would be dominant in possession but, in clearly targeting the big spaces down the defending champions’ right with counter-­attacks, their threat persisted even while largely camped in their own half for the final 45 minutes. Celebrations in Mexico City registered on the Richter Scale Credit: REUTERS/Gustavo Graf Born in Colombia, Osorio saw his career as a player ended by injury at the age of 26, but his determination to succeed as a coach was extraordinary. According to the New York Times, he moved to the United States as an illegal immigrant, working in construction and food service, before regained his legal status and then completing a ­degree in exercise science at Southern Connecticut State University. He sold many of his belongings to travel to Liverpool to study ­football and science at John Moores University and it was here that, ­after asking to borrow a ladder from a family who lived adjacent to Liverpool’s Melwood training ground, he would secretly watch Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier at work. Jobs in sports science followed at Major League Soccer and then with Manchester City, but he never stopped pushing to learn and ­persuaded just about all the biggest managerial names in Europe to let him study them at work. The ring-binders were growing ever thicker and opportunities to put his ­theories in practice would follow in Colombia, the United States and Brazil, before taking the Mexico job in 2015. Osorio His tactical methods, which ­centre largely on creating ­unpredictable patterns of movement among his strikers through repetitive practice, have been ­described by Mexico’s record ­goalscorer Javier Hernández as ­bordering on “genius”. Osorio has said that he wants Mexico “to take movement to new levels”. Results have also followed, even if supporters have been ­curiously slow to celebrate a team who topped Concacaf’s World Cup qualifying and reached the quarter-finals of the Copa America and then the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. “They’re not happy with us ­winning,” said Osorio. “We have to win and humiliate the opposition. There is no country in the world that keeps so much pressure on a national team coach.” Expectations will now also follow after this marvellous performance, even if Osorio naturally has a plan. “We will work on psychology – we have videos, movies and set phrases,” he said. “I carry the burden of pressure. The players should enjoy the game and play football like they did today against Germany. When they win, they take the credit. When they lose, I will take the blame.” And so what were his last words before a match that has, quite literally, reverberated almost 7,000 miles back across the world? “Focus on the beautiful game,” said Osorio. “Play for the love of winning, not the fear of losing.” WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
Swiss hold out to neutralise Brazilian firepower and earn share of points
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
Swiss hold out to neutralise Brazilian firepower and earn share of points
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
Swiss hold out to neutralise Brazilian firepower and earn share of points
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
Swiss hold out to neutralise Brazilian firepower and earn share of points
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
Swiss hold out to neutralise Brazilian firepower and earn share of points
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers, Marcelo and Alves. Now Danilo is playing he's more physical. And that's why Coutinho is there" 6:32PM Jesus is young 21 - Gabriel Jesus (21 years, 75 days) is set to become the youngest Brazilian player in a #WorldCup game since Kaká in 2002. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/kNTxCbTfrh— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018 �� | Gabriel Jesus painting the streets for the 2014 #WorldCup in Brazil. The boy who dreamed... pic.twitter.com/adrBJeEe2W— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 17, 2018 6:28PM It's filling up inside Credit: GETTY IMAGES A heap of Swiss fans have been going on a march to the stadium too apparently. Brazil fans are in all the photos from outside the stadium though, and it looks really fun. Credit: FIFA This is the other thing that makes international tournaments so great to be at: Credit: FIFA The fans can sit together without causing tribe related trouble. As soon as you start fencing off supporters from each other all the idiots come out. Not here! Imagine being able to enjoy games like this normally? There is something kinda funny about the battle between home and away fans but when it isn't that - fun - it's a really horrible thing at times. This is a bit more like rugby which is a good thing. 6:23PM Inside the dressing room Credit: FIFA That's not a bad little trio there. Brazil also have Roberto Firmino sitting on the bench if Jesus doesn't quite work out. 6:14PM Starting lineups Brazil (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho; Willian, Jesus, Neymar Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Lichsteiner; Xhaka, Behrami, Zuber, Dzemaili, Shaqiri; Seferovic Think Brazil ���� are a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 type thing today. Nothing too fancy expected from Switzerland ���� although underrate then at your (mild) PERIL pic.twitter.com/fj0liCHPOU— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 6:05PM Switzerland's starting lineup #HoppSchwiiz#HopSuisse#ForzaSvizzera#HopSvizra ����⚽️��#BRASUI#WM2018#CM2018pic.twitter.com/P0SwDzoBcZ— nationalteams_SFVASF (@SFV_ASF) June 17, 2018 6:03PM Our new columnist Look who writes for the Telegraph now? Read his thoughts on England vs Tunisia right here: Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 5:52PM Shocks everywhere Germany have lost! This World Cup just got even more interesting! You can find out what happened in our liveblog over here, but come back quickly. 5:45PM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Rostov Arena of course! World Cup 2018 stadium: Rostov Arena And it looks like this: Credit: REUTERS Like some sort of background building in a sci-fi video game. It looks better inside: Credit: FIFA Oooooh it's nice. I want to play on that pitch. 5:37PM How Brazil play World Cup tactics: How Brazil are playing to their strengths with attacking setup 5:31PM It's Brazil! And Switzerland! The world's favourite (or second favourite anyway) football team vs Switzerland, the perennially underrated darlings of... Switzerland. Will we see Neymar today? Even if we don't, there are a plethora of stars to choose from and this game could and should be an entertaining spectacle. We've had some brilliant games so far in the early stages of this World Cup but as clear favourites, Brazil can add to the lovely football levels by giving us all some samba skill. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and presumably many other players who have an X in their name will be pulling the strings for the Swiss. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players I'm expecting a slightly deeper, more compact and direct Brazil performance than most might think they're about to see and Switzerland will certainly look to frustrate and avoid being dragged into any one on one situations. That said, I was completely wrong about how Portugal vs Spain went so perhaps this will turn into a free for all, end-to-end play and plenty of goals for both teams. That's what we all really want isn't it? As for Neymar, there's a chance he'll play but Brazil coach Tite is just calming things down. "Neymar is still not 100 per cent, but he is very privileged physically," he told Fifa.com. "The level he has displayed in his sprints in high velocity has been impressive. But still he has something to gain. "It should happen sooner rather than later, hopefully." We'll get team news shortly and can start to figure out how this game might actually go but rest assured you can follow all the action, build-up and analysis with us right here.
Swiss hold out to neutralise Brazilian firepower and earn share of points
If Russia is to prove the scene of an exorcism for Brazil they will have to be better than this. A draw against Switzerland was no great calamity but this was an uneasy first examination for the Seleçao on the road to what they will hope will be redemption for the 7-1 humiliation by Germany on home soil in the World Cup semi-finals four years ago. Lionel Messi endured a misstep in his opening game with Argentina against Iceland and his former Barcelona team-mate, Neymar, experienced similar frustration on a night when Brazil had cause to bemoan a couple of costly decisions that went against them. The highlight of the game was an arresting 25 yard strike from Philippe Coutinho but the main talking points centred around a push on Miranda by Steven Zuber before he equalised for Switzerland early in the second half and the denial of a Brazil penalty late on. In truth, Brazil should probably not protest too loudly. On the balance of play, a draw was probably just about a fair result and Tite may be more concerned about a patchy performance when Brazil struggled with Swiss physicality and lost their way after an encouraging start. Coutinho’s goal was a moment of pure theatre but Brazil’s measure of control evaporated once Switzerland scored and the tide began to turn. Brazil finished the game looking the more likely winners, with substitute Roberto Firmino having a header pushed away, Neymar directing another straight at Yann Sommer, Miranda firing wide and Renato Augusto snatching at a volley, but this was no hard luck story. Sure, there was a touch of good fortune to Switzerland’s goal. Some referees would have penalised Zuber for a push on Miranda but even then the Brazil centre-back’s starting position looked suspect and the Switzerland winger could probably not believe quite how much space he had when he headed home unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. World Cup whatsapp promo Similarly, Gabriel Jesus was unimpressed he was denied a penalty when he was man-handled by Manuel Akanji in the 74th minute but the Manchester City striker probably did not help his case with his theatrical fall. There was a lot of huff and puff from Jesus but not much else and he was by no means the only Brazilian to have an off night. Neymar had a more threatening final 20 minutes and there were moments when it looked like he and Coutinho would combine to hurt Switzerland but he spent a lot of time on the ground struggling to escape the close attentions of his opponents. The pressure on the Paris Saint-Germain forward to deliver at this World Cup is unremitting but he is not afraid to draw attention to himself. After all, it takes a brave man to model his latest alternative haircut on Alannah Currie from the Thompson Twins, the 80s British pop band. Like Brazil in general, though, he will have to offer more than this. There was a fine pass to Coutinho in the 69th minute that the Barcelona player took beautifully on his chest, pushing the ball inside Stephan Lichtsteiner to create the space to shoot only to shank his volley wide. There had, of course, been no misjudgement for the goal. It was just the shot of Jogo Bonito that gets Brazilian juices flowing, the frustration being that it would prove an isolated moment of inspiration. Zuber would have been better directing his clearing header from Neymar’s corner almost anywhere but the feet of Coutinho, who offered a fine illustration of what £142 million buys you. The former Liverpool playmaker had only one thing in mind when the ball hurtled towards him, controlling it with effortless ease before bending home his shot off the inside of the far post. And that, basically, was as good as it got for Brazil. Paulinho missed a good chance from close range but Brazil did not ask enough questions. Lichtsteiner had been booked for grabbing Neymar round the neck and throwing him to the ground but the Brazil No10 was unable to isolate Arsenal’s new signing much after that when attempting to draw a second caution from the veteran right-back seemed a logical move. Coutinho flayed in Brazil's opener Credit: AP Photo/Andre Penner Tite must have held his breath when Neymar smacked the right foot he had fractured in February against Lichtsteiner’s boot in the second half as he followed through on a shot and appeared to be hobbling for a while afterwards but he did not look in too much discomfort by the end. Marcelo, captain here, was the only survivor from the team that had started against Germany in Belo Horizonte but, whether that game was playing on too many minds, there was a curious inhibition to much of Brazil’s football. Coutinho looked dangerous at times in a deeper midfield role but even he began to fade as the game went on and Switzerland grew in confidence. They are a decent side but they did not seem to believe they could hurt Brazil for those opening 45 minutes before the goal changed their mindset. Costa Rica in St-Petersburg on Friday is the next stop for Brazil and it will not be unreasonable to expect a lot more. Match details Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Roma) 6; Danilo (Manchester City) 6, Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain) 6, Miranda (Inter Milan) 6, Marcelo (Real Madrid) 6; Paulinho (Barcelona) 5 (Augusto, 67, Beijing Guoan), Casemiro (Real Madrid) 5 (Fernandinho, 60, Manchester City), Coutinho (Barcelona) 7; Willian (Chelsea) 5, Jesus (Manchester City) 6 (Firmino, 79, Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain) 6. Booked Casemiro Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) 7; Lichtsteiner (Arsenal, Lang 87 (Basel)) 7, Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) 6, Akanji (Borussia Dortmund) 6, Rodriguez (AC Milan) 7; Behrami (Udinese) 6 (Zakaria, 70, Borussia Monchengladbach), Xhaka (Arsenal) 7; Shaqiri (Stoke City) 6, Dzemaili (Bologna) 6, Zuber (Hoffenheim) 6; Seferovic (Benfica) (Embolo, 80, Schalke) 5. Booked Lichtsteiner, Schaer, Behrami Referee Cesar Ramos (Mexico) 9:16PM Some photos to peruse while you let that result sink in Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Some stats for you Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014. Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017. Brazil have failed to win any of their last three World Cup matches (D1 L2), their worst winless run since June 1978, when they went four games without a win. Switzerland haven’t lost their opening World Cup match in any of their last five tournaments (W2 D3). Five of Philippe Coutinho’s 11 goals for Brazil has been from outside the box. Brazil have conceded 10 goals from the last 13 shots on target they have faced at the World Cup. 9:09PM Profligate Brazil Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal 9:08PM Tomorrow's the big one... A certain country called England play tomorrow. You may have heard about this. Here's some reading for you ahead of that game! World Cup 2018 tactics: England's experimental phase and how Gareth Southgate can bring football home 9:03PM Mark Clattenburg on the incident Credit: TASS "You can see the defender's got hold of his arm and hands on his back which stops his ability to defend the ball. "He's deemed that not a foul. OK but I'd rather go to the side of the pitch and have a look." 9:02PM VAR controversy Ian Wright and Gary Neville are convinced Switzerland's goal shouldn't have counted. "It's one of them..." says Slaven Bilic. Hmmm. The referees didn't think it was a foul. "To be fair, I don't care," says Bilic. 8:55PM FULL TIME - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Great result for Switzerland, a disappointing one for Brazil. That was a hard fought point and probably deserved too. 8:55PM 90 mins +7 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neither! It's a cunning ruse and Neymar chips into the area, Miranda heads on... and Switzerland scramble it behind. There's a corner... and a foul in the box. That's a free-kick to the Swiss who have surely got their point now. 8:53PM 90 mins +5 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Another foul on Neymar. Neymar kisses the ball and lines up his free-kick 25 yards out. Will this be a Ronaldo top corner special? Or a Messi into the wall type effort? Now's your time, pal. Let's see what you've got. 8:52PM 90 mins +4 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The state of this: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Switzerland deserve a point here if they can get it. Neymar's getting really wound up about being kicked off the park and you can sympathise really. 8:50PM 90 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar stands over a free-kick on the left and will cross into the box, if he manages to figure out a way to beat the first man. He does... and Firmino is there unmarked! WHAT A SAVE! Shocking defending gives Firmino a free header but he shoots straight at the goalkeeper. If that had been either side of him it was a goal! Attempt Saved: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Roberto Firmino, 90 min) It's a corner anyway. Crossed in, headed back and MIRANDA IS THERE! He smashes the shot at goal but hooks it left of the goal. That's really close and could have been the winner. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Miranda, 90 + 1 min) 8:47PM 90 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Shaqiri has space on the counter-attack! His first pass is awful... but it bounces and lands back at his feet. So then he goes for a volley from 30 yards and fires it - guess where? CAN YOU GUESS WHERE THE BALL GOES? MILES WIDE AND HIGH ARHGRHGRHGRHGHGRHG why can't they shoot on target? :-( 8:46PM 88 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Xhaka knocks Neymar over, it's a free-kick. Lichsteiner is sitting down waiting for treatment. Is that time wasting? Or is he very injured? Soon we will discover! Lang comes on as a substitute to replace him. Call me a sceptic but I suspect that may well have been choreographed. Look how many shots Brazil have had off target: Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal But wait - here's Neymar with a header from the penalty spot! Straight at the goalkeeper. It's either over the bar or straight at the goalie every time. 8:43PM 86 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 This is scrappy. Brazil's passing has not been good in this half and Switzerland are also determined to stop them getting forward. Neymar gets on it in the final third now though and is running at the box! He flicks it inside... and Firmino can't control. Grooooooan. 8:42PM 84 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland try to run through the middle of Brazil, Shaqiri then attempts a flip flap to go past Miranda... and Brazil survive. Switzerland work incredibly hard to win the ball back except for Shaqiri, who just wanders backwards. Alisson comes off his line to burst an inflatable ball which has landed on the pitch. 8:40PM 82 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Seferovic off, Embolo on. Brazil have a free-kick 35 yards from goal... and Switzerland defend it well. Off the ball, Lichsteiner is holding his face rolling around the floor. I wonder if he will survive the cruel injury he has sustained during that passage of play. Huzzah! He gets off the turf and is ready to play again. "They do hurt, those ones," says Dixon. And suddenly Firmino's in! A pass in behind the defence puts him wide of goal and he lines up the shot but blooters it - guess where? That's right! - miles over the bar. 8:37PM 80 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Jesus off, Firmino on. And he's involved immediately, dribbling around the right-back but losing the ball in the box. 8:36PM 78 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Fernandinho sets himself up for a 30 yard smash. And it's about a mile over. Miss: Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Fernandinho, 77 min) Marcelo has taken it upon himself to get further up the pitch now and it;s really working. They're overloading that side of the pitch and Neymar is able to get a shot away... which the keeper saves easily. 8:34PM 76 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland are determined that even if nothing else goes their way, there's just no way Neymar is allowed to do any of his show pony tricks or even look like he might be Neymar. Every time he goes on a run he gets cut out, a slide tackle takes him down, a defender stands in his way. He can't get in the match at all. 8:32PM 74 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 PENALTY! Or is it? No! Augusto plays a reverse pass inside the box and Jesus goes down! The defender has his arms all over him, Akani is the culprit and stops him turning, then Jesus tumbles to the floor. It's a strange fall and the referee says play on. Will VAR review it? 8:31PM 73 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Marcelo moves inside the pitch and ghosts past Shaqiri... but Willian handballs the pass towards him. It's back with Shaqiri now on the right, he moves inside this time... and Dzemaili hits the most average shot of his life straight at the goalkeeper. These teams are really well matched. 8:29PM 71 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Brazil attack down the right, it's switched to Coutinho who chests down inside the box and sits up perfectly to volley at goal. He gets it all wrong and shoots well wide. Switzerland take Behrami - now on a yellow card - for Zakaria. That's probably smart. They're similar players and Neymar is going to get him sent off. He's also been holding his hamstring. 8:27PM 69 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami smiles and laughs as he is booked for cynically chopping him down, dragging studs on ankles. Neymar howls as he rolls along the floor. Fernandinho has a word with Behrami. 8:25PM 67 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Neymar hits the free-kick low into the area without power. It's pretty dreadful to be honest but Fernandinho has a hit at the ball and wins a corner. Willian follows up the move from the second ball of that and has a shot blocked... then Willian skies a shot somewhere in the upper stand of the stadium. Brazil sub: Paulinho off, Augusto on. 8:23PM 65 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Both teams are losing the ball in the opposition half with sloppy play, Switzerland perhaps the more comfortable in possession. Neymar is held back by Schar who is booked. That's about as clear a foul as you'll ever see and Neymar tries to get in on goal. The ref should allow play to continue... but blows for the free-kick. 8:21PM 63 mins -Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil vs Switzerland shots on goal Neymar tries to dribble between two players, which becomes three... and Switzerland win the ball. I think Neymar's trying a little too hard. It's gone a little quiet again in this game. Credit: REUTERS 8:18PM 61 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 The corner is well dealt with, Marcelo carries the ball forward and is fouled/ Brazil take it short... and Casemiro punts an effort wildly over the bar from about 30 yards. And that's his final involvement. Fernandinho replaces him. Brazil try to play their way out danger but the Switzerland press is causing them problems. 8:16PM 59 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Brazil move forward, the ball drops for Coutinho to smash from distance and he launches it at goal! Blocked. He gets a second chance... blocked! Neymar has kicked someone's foot while shooting inside the box and is wincing as he hobbles around now. He's only just recovered from a foot injury... but seems to be OK. Brazil corner. 8:15PM 57 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami is back on though... and he's just easily won the ball from Neymar. There is no way past him today! Not even with an injury (if he has one). Coutinho passes into Shaqiri by accident and Switzerland move up the pitch. 8:13PM 55 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Behrami has just pulled up with an injury and he looks close to tears. Let's hope that's nothing too serious but it's either a muscle injury or something in his knee and he's having treatment now after over stretching to try and stop Jesus getting the ball. He's really not happy with things - and when you consider he's had Neymar in his pocket all game long, this could be big. 8:11PM 53 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 1 Switzerland have the wind in their sails now and have the ball in the attacking third again... or they did until Lichtsteiner miscontrols on the line. How will Brazil react to that setback? Shaqiri outwits the defence - and his own teammates - with a clever little pass towards the goal line but it goes behind. 8:08PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! ZUBER HEADS IT IN! The scores are level! Brazil just switched off! Dreadful defending in the area for the corner. Miranda insists he's been pushed but the VAR don't think so! Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland (Steven Zuber, 50 min) 8:08PM 50 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland attack down the left and Marcelo comes across to stop a dangerous looking pass into the box. Switzerland get a corner out of it. 8:06PM 49 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar considers taking on his man on the left wing and decides against it. Casemiro chops down Dzemaili to stop a counter-attack and is booked but that's Willian's fault for a poor pass selling him short. 8:04PM 47 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Dzemaili tries an effort from long range. Why not? Have fun, enjoy yourselves. 8:03PM KICK-OFF 2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 We're back! Switzerland start the second half. More goals please. 7:58PM Both teams on the left Actually, it turns out they're both at it. Brazil is right (light blue) and Switzerland left (dark blue) 7:56PM Brazil focusing down the left Credit: GETTY IMAGES "I feel bad for Lichsteiner," says Gary Neville. "I remember playing against Arsenal with Henry, Pires and Cole and it was wave after wave of wave of attack." Average touch positions (45 min) You can sort of see it above. 7:54PM Analysis That went from potential Empire Strikes Back to Phantom Menace pretty quickly. Simpsons seasons 2-9 to 10-present. Brazil don't really seem to be trying now they're a goal up - I'm not sure they really fear Switzerland. "I think both teams will be happy," says Roy Keane, and I agree. Slaven Bilic has pointed out that Brazil are in control. "They are very organised team. What are your best chances against Brazil? Counter-attacks. They didn't give Switzerland one single chance to counter-attack. If it doesn't work they all go behind the ball." 7:51PM Gary Lineker Twitter update Watching the Brazil game where Neymar had his hair cut. pic.twitter.com/qzUjmmRL2D— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2018 7:48PM HALF TIME And that's it! Brazil haven't really had to do an awful lot here, Switzerland have been good but Coutinho pulled a goal rabbit out of his magic football hat and Brazil have the lead. That's soccerball for you. 7:47PM 45 mins +2 - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 So close for Silva! He attacks a corner at the near post but heads over. Decent effort but not close enough! 7:44PM 45 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami has been an absolute machine here. "He's going to need two sugars in his tea and an oxygen tank," says Dixon, accidentally revealing the controversial half time fluid intake that Arsene Wenger used to give Arsenal players. 7:43PM 44 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 That's now the worst pass of the game. Akonji punts the ball out for a goal kick for no apparent reason. There's a guy in the crowd dressed as a Panini sticker and I'm trying to find a photo of it for you. Excellent effort. 7:42PM 42 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar is being bullied by Behrami. He can't get past him, is being muscled off it every single time and is now moping around the centre-circle. This is nice from Brazil now though and Jesus might be in! Well defended by the centre-backs and the move is shut down. 7:40PM 40 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland get in behind Marcelo on the right! The attack is on but Dzemaili's final pass is poor. Alisson plays a tidy little pass to the defender while being closed down and Brazil try to counter... but Switzerland are in control of possession again. Switzerland have a chance to shoot! Zuber swings a foot at it and my god that is the worst shot... I don't want to say ever... but that I've seen in a while. He hooks his leg at the thing and whacks it full power into Silva's face. He goes down but is OK. I bet that hurt. 7:37PM 38 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: REUTERS That photograph more or less sums up the half so far. Except for Coutinho's rocket strike, of course. 7:35PM 36 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami does really well to win the ball from Neymar as Marcelo chips it ahead of him. He's actually done really well so far to keep Neymar quiet and keep passing play going for Switzerland and is their best player by far at the moment. 7:33PM 34 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Marcelo takes the free-kick from wide left and Seferovic heads away. Corner. It's hit in with power from Neymar to the back post, Jesus heads it back but nobody reads it. He should maybe have done better there. "Sommer was away with the fairies there," says Dixon. 7:31PM 32 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Behrami slips and fouls Casemiro. The possession has been mostly Switzerland's for a little while now - Brazil poised to counter. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland And there's a first yellow card. Lichsteiner is booked for pulling down Neymar, catching him from behind while running back into position. 7:29PM 30 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Neymar tries to run past Behrami but puts the ball out for a throw. I think Behrami has the job of centre-back protector and Neymar man marker when higher up the pitch. 7:28PM 28 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's the pose for his statue worked out. 7:26PM 26 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Switzerland win a corner, Rodriguez takes it as an outswinger. Schar clashes heads as Casemiro gets the thing cleared miles away before accidentally heading Schar's skull. 7:24PM 24 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 Here's the Switzerland build-up. Rodriguez is playing wide left and Lichsteiner is more inside the pitch like an inverted wing-back while Shaqiri is wide right. Then when Switzerland get higher up the pitch they swap. None of it will matter if Brazil keep this up though. 7:22PM 23 mins - Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 It really feels like Brazil could blow Switzerland away here if they really turn it on. The boat is rocking and Switzerland need to ride out the wave! A Willian heel flick and pass outside nearly puts them in again straight away. 7:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Wow. Where did that come from? Coutinho has scored for Brazil! The goalkeeper looks stunned! Brazil 1 - 0 Switzerland (Coutinho, 20 min) What a hit. Coutinho picks up the ball 20 yards out, shifts it onto his right foot and bends the thing way outside the goal and it curls round into the top corner. Magic. Goal: Brazil ( 20 min ) 7:18PM 19 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Credit: AP Gabriel Jesus breaks down the left after another fantastic move through the lines but his cross is saved low by Sommer. Brazil are menacing in possession - it's so quick and clever. 7:16PM 17 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar, Marcelo and Coutinho line up the kick but Neymar seems to have dibs. And he hits the wall. Possession: Brazil vs Switzerland 7:15PM 15 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar loves keeping the ball and does so under close attentions of a couple of Swiss players. He faces up to Dzemaili and teases him a little. "I know what I would have done," says Lee Dixon. An advocate of violence! Controversial scenes. Maybe he meant he'd do a rainbow flick if in Neymar's shoes rather than go through him as a defender. We just can't ever know. Neymar is brought down 25 yards out by Behrami, having skinned him with a little flick. Behrami seems to be enjoying the game, laughing at being totally done there. 7:12PM 12 mins -Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 This is a nice move from Brazil. Willian gets a chance to cross from the right wing, it's blocked and then Willian has the ball in midfield. It's moved left, Coutinho twists and turns until Neymar passes into the six yard box.... and Paulinho shoots! The goalkeeper gets a decent save on it... but the referee thinks it's a goal kick. That's a great save. 7:09PM 10 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar looks for a one-two to get in behind the last man but it's well read and defended. Pretty open so far. 7:08PM 8 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Paulinho runs from deep and takes the ball off Jesus but can't keep control while running at full pace and puts it out for a goal kick. Willian does so well to shield the ball at right-back and flick a pass inside to kick-start a counter-attack, Brazil in the Swiss half now. 7:06PM 6 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Neymar has come in fancy dress as a flamboyant disco scarecrow and gets annoyed by Behrami's attention while trying to dribble. Credit: REUTERS Brazil work the ball forward and Willian fizzes a cross into the area but hits it too hard for anyone to attack. Xhaka is lucky not to be booked for a clear shirt pull on Neymar. 7:03PM 4 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Switzerland have started well here! And there's an early chance for Dzemaili as passing down the right results in a cross hit into the area. He swings at the volley but launches it over the bar. Brazil give the ball away from the goal kick. 7:02PM 2 mins - Brazil 0 Switzerland 0 Sure enough, Switzerland immediately focus their passing down the right after winning the ball from kick-off. Brazil chase the ball to try and win it back, Switzerland look comfortable on the ball but can't keep it in play and Brazil get a goal kick. 7:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! Brazil get us started. 6:57PM The teams again Right then. Marcelo's advanced positions and Neymar's non-defending on the left will mean Switzerland focus attacks down the left, Paulinho will attack from deep and try to get in the box and Casemiro is absolutely key to keeping things held together. Switzerland have a decent team here and Xhaka needs to stay disciplined. His range of passing could be how Switzerland get in behind the Brazil defence. 6:53PM National anthems Here come the players! "It's not a World Cup until we've seen Brazil," says Clive Tyldesley, and here they are. 6:51PM Gary Neville on Shaqiri "I'm not a fan to be honest." Short, sharp... fair? He's magic when he wants to be. Shaqiri I mean. Neville is always a solid base 8/10 no matter what he's doing. 6:51PM Gabriel Jesus How Gabriel Jesus rose from besotted teenager to part of Brazil's big World Cup picture 6:47PM What a sky in Rostov #beautiful Credit: GETTY IMAGES That's actually Gareth Southgate inside the mascot costume. He's scouting. True story. 6:44PM Neymar and Marcelo on the left wing I can see Switzerland targeting the Brazil left, especially if they put Xherdan Shaqiri on the right wing. Marcelo is one of the best left-backs in the world football but spends most of his time in an advanced role, taking on the responsibilities normally afforded to a left winger. He does actually defend from time to time and is an important part of build-up play too, seen below in Brazil's friendly with England, flicking the ball onto Fernandinho before sprinting up to the half way line. Advanced left wing positions are where he he is most dangerous and exactly where he assisted Gareth Bale from in the Champions League final for that stunning bicycle kick, chipping the ball at perfect height to him with a supposedly weaker right foot. Marcelo's attacking nature is worth the risk for Brazil but, as has often been pointed out, he does leave his teammates exposed when caught out of position. Marcelo is as good a winger as any at the World Cup and getting him high up the pitch gets him involved with attacking play. It also allows Neymar to roam from that wide left starting position and look to do damage in areas he sees fit. The problem is that if Brazil lose the ball in attacking positions, Marcelo leaves the rest of the team exposed. Here's this exact scenario happening to Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. The Allianz erupts! Joshua Kimmich hammers Bayern into the lead! �� What an assist from James Rodriguez �� pic.twitter.com/DyoD0oYl2U— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 6:41PM Roy Keane looks furious for absolutely no reason He's in a typically angered pose, and has already challenged Neymar to go and prove he's one of the best in the world if he thinks he's so damn good. 6:39PM Where do Switzerland and Brazil's kits rank? World Cup kits ranked 6:34PM Marcelo is the only survivor from the 7-1 Nobody else is in that starting XI. Thiago Silva didn't play, Neymar was injured. "I think they are missing Dani Alves," says Slaven Bilic. "They used to have two playmakers,