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2022 World Cup Group G preview, teams, odds: Brazil the favorites to win it all

Neymar Brazil World Cup
FILE – Brazil’s Neymar dribbles the ball during a friendly soccer match between South Korea and Brazil at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, Thursday, June 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

The No. 1 ranked team by FIFA, Brazil, headlines an intriguing Group G that appears to have that No. 2 spot up for grabs behind the Canaries. Can the Brazilians break a surprising drought of — what’s by their standards — mediocrity at the World Cup? 

2022 World Cup Group G preview

Brazil

Gabriel Jesus Brazil World Cup
FILE -Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus, left, and Ecuador’s Pervis Estupinan fight for the ball during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at Beira-Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Friday, June 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)
  • FIFA Rank: 1st
  • Qualification: 1st place in CONMEBOL qualifying
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 21
  • Best finish: Champions (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
  • Odds to win group: -300
  • Odds to make knockout stage: -1000
  • Odds to win World Cup: +400

A new generation of Brazilian superstars is set to make their mark on the soccer world with a high-pressing, possessive style of play that makes them the favorites to win a sixth World Cup title. Brazil has arguably the best keeper in the world in Alisson, the best center-back in Marquinhos, and a bevy of attacking brilliance with Neymar and Lucas Paqueta. While A Seleção is the most successful national team in history, it’s in a slump not seen in its 108-year existence. It’s been four consecutive World Cup in which Brazil has not finished in the top three. That’s never happened before.

X-Factor: Neymar Not only is Neymar still the face of Brazil, but he’s also battling the ghosts of legends past — specifically Pele. The 31-year-old is now the same age as the legendary forward when he retired from the national team. Pele had three World Cups to his name. Neymar has none. He needs one to enter the conversation of being labeled one of the greatest Brazilian soccer players ever.

Brazil World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Alisson Liverpool
Goalkeeper Ederson Manchester City
Goalkeeper Weverton Palmeiras
Defender Dani Alves UNAM
Defender Thiago Silva Chelsea
Defender Marquinhos PSG
Defender Danilo Juventus
Defender Alex Telles Sevilla
Defender Alex Sandro Juventus
Defender Eder Militao Real Madrid
Defender Bremer Juventus
Midfielder Bruno Guimarães Newcastle United
Midfielder Casemiro Real Madrid
Midfielder Lucas Paqueta Lyon
Midfielder Fabinho Liverpool
Midfielder Fred Manchester United
Midfielder Everton Ribeiro Flamengo
Forward Neymar PSG
Forward Gabriel Jesus Arsenal
Forward Vinicius Junior Real Madrid
Forward Antony Manchester United
Forward Richarlison Tottenham
Forward Rafinha Barcelona
Forward Rodrygo Real Madrid
Forward Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal
Forward Pedro Flamengo

 

Cameroon

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa Cameroon World Cup
FILE – Cameroon’s Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, left, challenges for the ball with Egypt’s Amr El Solia during the African Cup of Nations 2022 semi-final soccer match between Cameroon and Egypt at the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)
  • FIFA Rank: 43rd
  • Qualification: Defeated Algeria in CAF 3rd Round
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 7
  • Best finish: Quarterfinals (1990)
  • Odds to win group: +1200
  • Odds to make knockout stage: +350
  • Odds to win World Cup:+25000

New manager Rigobert Song is still feeling out his side as they head to Qatar as heavy underdogs within Group G. But this is a Cameroon side that once upon a time shocked the defending champions Argentina at the 1990 World Cup on their way to their only quarterfinal appearance in the competition. The Indomitable Lions are in good form and they can score some goals. Should be quite a test for Serbia and Switzerland.

X-Factor: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa The midfielder is having one of his finest seasons with Napoli in Italy, recording three goals and three assists across 18 matches in all competitions. This will be the player to pull all the strings for Cameroon’s attack in Qatar.

Cameroon World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Simon Ngapandouetnbu Marseille
Goalkeeper Devis Epassy Abha
Goalkeeper Andre Onana Inter Milan
Defender Nicolas Nkoulou Aris
Defender Enzo Ebosse Udinese
Defender Nouhou Tolo Seattle Sounders
Defender Olivier Mbaizo Philadelphia Union
Defender Collins Fai Al-Tai
Defender Jean-Charles Castelletto Nantes
Defender Christopher Wooh Rennes
Midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa Napoli
Midfielder Jerome Ngom Mbekeli APEJES de Mfou
Midfielder Gael Ondoa Hannover
Midfielder Samuel Gouet Mechelen
Midfielder Pierre Kunde Olympiacos
Midfielder Martin Hongla Hellas Verona
Midfielder Olivier Ntcham Swansea City
Forward Vincent Aboubakar Al-Nassr
Forward Souaibou Marou Coton Sport
Forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting Bayern Munich
Forward Christian Bassogog Shanghai Shenhua
Forward Moumi Ngamaleu Dynamo Moscow
Forward Georges-Kevin Nkoudou Besiktas
Forward Jean-Pierre Nsame Young Boys
Forward Karl Toko Ekambi Lyon
Forward Bryan Mbeumo Brentford

 

Serbia

Dusan Vlahovic Serbia World Cup
FILE – Serbia’s Dusan Vlahovic misses a chance during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Serbia and Sweden at the Rajko Mitic Stadium in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)
  • FIFA Rank: 21st
  • Qualification: Group A winners in UEFA qualifying
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 12 (9 as Yugoslavia, 1 as Serbia and Montenegro, 2 as Serbia)
  • Best finish: Semifinals (1930, 1962)
  • Odds to win group: +650
  • Odds to make knockout stage: +130
  • Odds to win World Cup: +8000

Serbia outlasted Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal to win its group in UEFA qualifying. Much of that has to do with Serbian legend Dragan Stojkovic taking over as manager, helping the Eagles transform into more of an attacking side.

X-Factor: Dusan Vlahovic With Serbia’s defense in question, Vlahovic will have to carry over his form with Juventus in Italy to spark Serbia’s attack. He has six goals in 10 Serie A matches and should create a fearsome duo with the always-dangerous Aleksander Mitrovic up front.

Serbia World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic Sevilla
Goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic Torino
Goalkeeper Predrag Rajković Mallorca
Defender Nikola Milenkovic Fiorentina
Defender Stefan Mitrovic Getafe
Defender Strahinja Pavlovic Salzburg
Defender Milos Veljkovic Werder Bremen
Defender Filip Mladenovic Legia Warsaw
Defender Srdan Babic Almeria
Defender Strahinja Erakovic Red Star Belgrade
Midfielder Dusan Tadic Ajax
Midfielder Nemanja Gudelj Sevilla
Midfielder Filip Kostic Juventus
Midfielder Nemanja Maksimovic Getafe
Midfielder Filip Duricic Sampdoria
Midfielder Nemanja Radonjic Torino
Midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic Lazio
Midfielder Sasa Lukic Torino
Midfielder Andrija Zivkovic PAOK
Midfielder Uros Racic Braga
Midfielder Ivan Ilic Hellas Verona
Midfielder Darko Lazovic Hellas Verona
Forward Aleksander Mitrovic Fulham
Forward Luka Jovic Fiorentina
Forward Dusan Vlahovic Juventus
Forward Nemanja Radonjic Marseille

 

Switzerland

Murat Yakin Switzerland World Cup
FILE – Switzerland coach Murat Yakin, left, gestures during an international soccer match between England and Switzerland at Wembley Stadium in London, Saturday, March 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
  • FIFA Rank: 15th
  • Qualification: Group C winners in UEFA qualifying
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 11
  • Best finish: Quarterfinals (1934, 1938, 1954)
  • Odds to win group: +550
  • Odds to make knockout stage: +100
  • Odds to win World Cup: +8000

Switzerland is rounding into form heading toward Qatar, which is quite promising considering they outscored opponents 15-2 during qualifying. They’re not as attacking-heavy as they used to be under Vladimir Petkovic, but Murat Yakin has instilled a hard-working system that features a talented midfield as the engine.

X-Factor: Granit Xhaka Switzerland’s most important midfielder and captain, Xhaka has been instrumental in Arsenal’s fast start in the Premier League. He’s had a hand in six goals in 14 league matches for the Gunners and will look to create a solid partnership with Remo Freuler to help direct La Nati’s play.

Switzerland World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Yan Sommer Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel Borussia Dortmund
Goalkeeper Phillipp Kohn RB Salzburg
Goalkeeper Jonas Omlin Montpellier
Defender Fabian Schar Newcastle United
Defender Manuel Akanji Manchester City
Defender Ricardo Rodriguez Torino
Defender Nico Elvedi Borussia Mönchengladbach
Defender Silvan Widmer Mainz
Defender Eray Comert Valencia
Midfielder Granit Xhaka Arsenal
Midfielder Remo Freuler Nottingham Forest
Midfielder Fabian Frei Basel
Midfielder Denis Zakaria Chelsea
Midfielder Djibril Sow Frankfurt
Midfielder Renato Steffen Lugano
Midfielder Michel Aebischer Bologna
Midfielder Ardon Jashari Luzern
Midfielder Fabian Rieder Young Boys
Midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri Chicago Fire
Midfielder Ruben Vargas Augsburg
Midfielder Edimilson Fernandes Mainz
Forward Noah Okafor RB Salzburg
Forward Christian Fassnacht Young Boys
Forward Haris Seferovic Galatasaray
Forward Breel Embolo Monaco

*Odds courtesy of DraftKings

 

2022 World Cup Group G schedule

Date Match Time TV
Thursday, Nov. 24 Switzerland v. Cameroon 5 AM FS1
Thursday, Nov. 24 Brazil v. Serbia 2 PM FOX
Monday, Nov. 28 Cameroon v. Serbia 5 AM FS1
Saturday, Nov. 26 Brazil v. Switzerland 11 AM FOX
Friday, Dec. 2 Serbia v. Switzerland 2 PM FS1
Friday, Dec. 2 Cameroon v. Brazil 2 PM FOX

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