World Cup Preview - Group G: Brazil to live up to favourites billing?


Brazil will seek to reinforce their favourites tag and go all the way in Qatar in pursuit of a sixth World Cup as we preview Group G. 




How they qualified 


Brazil went unbeaten in 2022 CONMEBOL qualification, winning 14 of their 17 games. They scored 40 goals, at least 13 more than any other team, and conceded only five goals, the fewest, highlighting not only their attacking prowess, but also their defensive resilience. 


One to Watch - Neymar  


Neymar will be playing in his third World Cup, and is undoubtly the player to watch. He was their top scorer in qualification with eight goals and will hope to lead his nation to glory. The most gifted player of this generation, his flair will be mesmerising at times, and after sustaining a serious back injury at Brazil 2014, Neymar will be eager to lead his country to glory. 


Young Player to Watch - Vinicius Junior 


The matchwinner in last season’s Champions League final, Vinicius Junior will be playing in his first World Cup for Brazil. He’s been capped 16 times for his country, but with the quality in his locker, this will surely rise. With a solid defence, this will allow the attacking players to flourish, and we could see that with the 22-year-old from Real Madrid. 




World number ones Brazil are expected to reach the final. They have the best team they’ve had in a few years, featuring the likes of Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro and Alisson. It would be a surprise if they didn’t make the final, as many expect them to do so. 




How they qualified 


Cameroon qualified for the World Cup at the expense of Ivory Coast after finishing top of their group. They then contested a playoff against Algeria and won, which has earned them their place. Their reward was a tough group filled with three quality sides, including tournament favourites Brazil. 


One to Watch - Frank Anguissa 


Following his departure from Fulham, Frank Anguissa has been a revelation for Napoli in Serie A. He is crucial to Cameroon with and without the ball, as his high energy and work rate gives them a real chance in midfield battles. If Cameroon are to somehow make it out the group, Anguissa will have a big role to play. 


Young Player to Watch - Bryan Mbuemo 


Brentford forward Bryan Mbuemo is Cameroon’s young player to watch. While Ivan Toney takes the spotlight for Brentford, Mbuemo plays an important role in the way they attack. His four goal contributions may not seem like much, but having declared his allegiance for Cameroon back in August, he is set to feature for the Indomitable Lions as they seek to progress to the last-16. 




Cameroon will have a lot to do if they are to make it out the group, and we think the likes of Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia will just have too much for them. 




How they qualified 


Serbia showed their potential and topped their qualification group with 20 points, making automatic qualification ahead of international giants Portugal. They have failed to make it out the group on their last three attempts, but there is real optimism around the team and their chances. 


World Cup Preview - Group G: Brazil to live up to favourites billing?


One to Watch - Sergej Milinkovic-Savic 


Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio will be a key player for the Serbs. The powerhouse in midfield is able to attack and defend with his good work rate and tenacity. He has been regularly linked with moves to elite European clubs, and an impressive tournament could finally see that come to fruition. 


Young Player to Watch - Dusan Vlahovic 


Dusan Vlahovic earned his big move to Juventus last winter following an impressive run of form in Serie A for Fiorentina, all at the age of 22. Since joining the Old Lady, he has established himself as one of the best young forwards in world football, and he goes from strength to strength. His first World Cup gives him the chance to show why he deserves all the plaudits. 




With Brazil obvious favourites, they will fight with Switzerland and Cameroon for second spot in the group, and after missing out on Euro 2020, they will be desperate to impress. It might be too close to call in the group, but the clash against Switzerland will be pivotal for their chances. 




How they qualified 


The Swiss saw off Italy to top their European qualification group, winning five of their eight games, but more impressively, they only conceded two goals. This highlights their defensive solidity, which could be critical in their tough World Cup group. 


One to Watch - Yann Sommer 


Yann Sommer saved Kylian Mbappe’s penalty in that Euro 2020 shock against France, and is expected to again be a key player for the Swiss. The 33-year-old has been capped 76 times and broke the record for the most saves in one a Bundesliga match as he made 19 saves against Bayern Munich earlier this season.  


Young Player to Watch - Noah Okafor 


Noah Okafor has been key for Salzburg this season having scored three Champions League goals, as well as seven in the Austrian Bundesliga. With his form at the moment, he is expected to start for the Swiss. 




It is surely between Switzerland and Serbia for second spot in the group. They have the experience of making the last-16, having done so in three of the last four World Cups. They also managed this at Euro 2020, whereas Serbia didn’t even qualify for that tournament. This know-how could get the Swiss over the line and into the knockout stages for their third successive World Cup.


Group stage prediction

1. Brazil

2. Switzerland

3. Serbia

4. Cameroon

World Cup Preview - Group G: Brazil to live up to favourites billing?