November 17, 2022 12:05 AM
Alex Lawes

2022 FIFA World Cup Predictions: Group G

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FIFA ranking: 1

FIFA World Cup appearances: 22

FIFA World Cup best: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)

Manager: Tite

Captain: Thiago Silva

The Selecao look good, very good. The five-time FIFA World Cup winners come into this on the back of a 5-1 hammering of Tunisia in their most recent outing in a friendly in the September international break.

That victory means they have now won seven successive matches, scoring 26 goals in the process. They have lost just two of their last 32 matches and have an array of attacking options: Neymar, Vinicius, Rodyrgo, Martinelli, Jesus, Raphinha and Richarlison come at the top of a team that have a spine with Alisson, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos, Casemiro and Bruno Guimaraes. They look outstanding.

Those two defeats, though, have come against their arch-rivals Argentina with the most recent being at home to the Argentine’s in the final of the 2021 Copa America last summer.

If the two teams both win their groups and continue to proceed then we are set for a blockbuster semi-final between the two sides and, as strong as the Brazilians clearly are, it does seem like Lionel Scaloni’s men currently have their number.

TSZ Prediction: Semi-finals


FIFA ranking: 21

FIFA World Cup appearances: Third Entry as just Serbia

FIFA World Cup best: Groups as just Serbia

Manager: Dragan Stojkovic

Captain: Dusan Tadic

For a few years now, Serbia have threatened to be a major player on the international stage but they have flattered to deceive. A prime example of that would be somehow being knocked out of UEFA Euro 2020 qualification at home in the playoff final by Scotland on penalties. They were a disjointed rabble and a lack of cohesion for such a talented squad hindered their progress.

However, under the management of the legendary playing figure of Dragan Stojkovic, they have adapted to a three at the back system which is tactically astute, helping to get their best players into a well-balanced side.

With Filip Kostic at left wing-back supporting a front three of Dusan Tadic behind Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Luka Jovic off the bench, the Serb’s will be a threat to anyone. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s presence in midfield will also frighten the vast majority, if not all, of their opponents.

They come into this on the back of an impressive 2-0 win away to Norway in the UEFA Nations League in September as they gained promotion to League A.

Serbia are in a tough group alongside Brazil and Switzerland but they will be confident of getting themselves out of it, just about.

TSZ Prediction: Round of 16


FIFA ranking: 15

FIFA World Cup appearances: 12th Entry

FIFA World Cup best: Quarter-finals (1934, 1938, 1954)

Manager: Murat Yakin

Captain: Granit Xhaka

After defeating France in the Round of 16 at UEFA Euro 2020, Switzerland were knocked on penalties by Spain in the quarter-finals and, despite an impressive showing, Vladimir Petkovic departed. Murat Yakin replaced him and he has gone on to pull off some impressive results.

The Swiss finished above Italy in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification and went on to defeat both Portugal and Spain in the UEFA Nations League just a couple of months ago, highlighting a habit of making it tough for the strongest sides that they showed at UEFA Euro 2020.

With Granit Xhaka arguably in the form of his life in midfield and Breel Embolo nearing a similar status up-front, they will be problematic for any side and do appear relatively evenly matched with Serbia.

Despite that, though, they have shown a complacency against sides they are favourite to beat and an opening match against Cameroon is ripe for an underwhelming display from the Swiss.

TSZ Prediction: Group stage


FIFA ranking: 43

FIFA World Cup appearances: Eighth Entry

FIFA World Cup best: Quarter-finals (1990)

Manager: Rigobert Song

Captain: Vincent Aboubakar

The Cameroonians were the first African side to reach the last eight of a FIFA World Cup, when they stunned the world in 1990. They have played the most World Cup matches of any African team and they will hope to add to their legacy in Qatar.

At the start of 2022, they hosted AFCON and reached the semi-finals after a fairly impressive tournament. Since then, Rigobert Song has been appointed and he led them to qualification after defeating Algeria in Algeria via a second-half of extra-time stoppage-time winner.

What is most intriguing and exciting about Cameroon is their apparent intention to play either a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 in which the two wingers, it could well be argued, are out and out strikers.

Their attacking options are plentiful with the likes of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Vincent Aboubakar, Karl Toko Ekambi and Bryan Mbeumo among a nine-man forward selection for the tournament. There are some other key players, too, though, with Andre Onana, Jean-Charles Castelletto and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa forming an important spine.

Despite some intriguing tactics and players, it is a very tough group for the Cameroonians and a group stage exit does seem likely.

TSZ Prediction: Group stage

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