Switzerland and Cameroon kick off the action in Group G of the World Cup when they meet in Thursday’s opener in Al Wakrah.
The two sides alongside Serbia are the underdogs of the group, with Brazil expected to qualify for the knockout stages as group winners. The Swiss qualified automatically from UEFA qualifying but have historically struggled at World Cups.
Their opponents are Cameroon, who came through a two-legged play-off with Algeria to qualify on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the game.
Switzerland vs Cameroon H2H Results (All Time)
Switzerland and Cameroon have never met in men’s international football.
Current Form (Last Five Games)
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Switzerland team news
Yann Sommer may not be at his sharpest this tournament, having only just recovered from an injury he sustained back in October. The Borussia Monchengladbach star did play in the 2-0 defeat to Ghana on Thursday, however, as did Fabian Schar, Granit Xhaka, Denis Zakaria and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Switzerland Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Widmer, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo.
Bench: Kobel, Kohn, Comert, Elvedi, Fernandes, Frei, Jashari, Rieder, Steffen, Zakaria, Aebischer, Fassnacht, Okafor, Seferovic.
Cameroon team news
Napoli star Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa is taking a knock into the tournament, but as one of Cameroon’s star players he may be risked even if not at 100% sharpness.
Cameroon Starting 11 (4-3-3): Onana; Ebosse, Castelletto, Nkoulou, Fai; Ntcham, Zambo Anguissa, Gouet; Mbeumo, Choupo-Moting, Ekambi.
Bench: Ngapandouetnbu, Mbekali, Wooh, Mbazo, Tolo, Ondoua, Nkoudou, Kunde, Hongla, Marou, Ngamaleu, Nsame, Aboubakar, Bassogog.
Switzerland enjoyed a wonderful 2021, reaching the Euro 2020 quarter finals before a penalty shootout exit to Spain and finishing ahead of Italy in their World Cup qualifying group to reach Qatar automatically and avoid the play-offs.
They are favourites against a Cameroon side that boasts some interesting attacking quality – striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has hit form at a perfect time and will be supplied with chances by the industrious Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and the electric Bryan Mbeumo.
There are some interesting match-ups – especially in midfield – but Switzerland’s more established outfit and know-how may see them make a winning start in Group G.
Prediction: Switzerland 2-1 Cameroon