vs. Location: Rostov Arena, Rostov-o-Don Brazil roster: Goleiros: Alisson (Roma) Cássio (Corinthians) Ederson (Manchester City) Laterais: Danilo (Manchester City) Filipe Luís (Atlético de Madrid) Marcelo (Real Madrid) Fagner (Corinthians) Zagueiros: Marquinhos (PSG) Miranda (Inter de Milão) Thiago Silva (PSG) Geromel (Grêmio) Meio-campistas: Casemiro (Real Madrid) Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan) Fernandinho (Manchester City) Paulinho (Barcelona) Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) Willian (Chelsea) Fred (Shakhtar) Atacantes: Neymar (PSG) Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) Douglas Costa (Juventus) Taison (Shakhtar) After 4 years, 2 managers, 2 Copa América participations without trophies won, 1 Olympic title achieved on home soil, 9 straight wins and 1st place in CONMEBOL's qualification tournament, and 4 wins in 4 friendlies in 2018 (3-0 at Russia; 1-0 at Germany; 2-0 vs. Croatia; 3-0 at Austria), the Brazilian national soccer team returns to the World Cup, in its 21st participation, with the hopes of erasing the ghosts of traumas past with a new manager, a refurbished and improved team, and the hopes of millions. This Brazil has regained the respect of admirers and rivals alike. With its crushing of every opponent in South America in qualifying, and with its solid performances against UEFA teams in friendlies (England is the only team outside South America whom Tite's Brazil faced and failed to defeat), the 2018 World Cup will welcome a side that mixes team chemistry, various offensive options, a solid midfield, and a trustworthy back line. Facing Brazil in its June 17th debut in Russia will be Switzerland, a team with plenty of World Cup history but which is yet to win a major title. Switzerland will be in its 11th World Cup. Until 1966, it was absent only in 1930 and in 1958; it then went on a 20-year "sabbatical" which ended in 1994 and which was revived in 1998 and in 2002. Switzerland then returned in 2006 and has been in every World Cup since. The Swiss finished in second place, behind Portugal, in UEFA's Group B, finishing with the same 27 points that the Portuguese had, but with an inferior goal differential (+28 vs +16). The Swiss won every home game and lost only at Portugal. This result forced Switzerland to face Northern Ireland in a playoff, a contest which saw 1 goal (off a PK) Few will forget how the Swiss, having finished second in Group E in 2014 (after losing 2-5 to the French), pushed Argentina to the 119th minute in the round of 16, before the South Americans scored. The Swiss were seen then as "darkhorses" and this year, along with teams like Belgium and Nigeria, the Swiss present the possibility of giving contenders like Brazil unexpected difficulty. The Swiss are expected to do what Austria and Russia did in recent friendlies, namely to play off a "ferrolho" which could exhaust and frustrate Brazil. But as defensively good as the Swiss are, they scored 23 goals in UEFA's WCQ. Pay attention to the right-wing, where Stoke City's Xherdan Shaqiri operates to prepare the team's main plays. Operating off a 4-2-3-1, Neymar, Firmino, Gabriel Jesus, and their teammates will face Lichtsteiner, Schär, Djourou, Xhaka, Behrami, and Seferovic, who were on Brazilian soil in 2014 and who participated in the 2016 European Championship. The Swiss are unbeaten in 2018. They started off with a 1-0 win at Greece, a 6-0 rout of Panama at home 4 days later, a 1-1 draw at Spain on June 3, and a 2-0 win vs. Japan on June 8. Previous to these games were the playoff matches vs. Northern Ireland, with a goalless draw and the one-goal win that put Switzerland in Russia. This means that Brazil's first opponent is coming off a 6-game unbeaten streak. The following was Switzerland's starting XI vs. Japan: Goleiro: Roman Borki (Borussia Dortmund) Defensores: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Arsenal), Fabian Schär (Deportivo La Coruña), Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Ricardo Rodríguez (Milan) Meio-campistas: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Breel Embolo (Schalke 04) Centroavante: Mario Gravanovic (Dínamo Zagreb) Técnico: Vladimir Petkovic Brazil head-to-head vs. Switzerland: 6/28/1950: 2-2 (World Cup) 4/11/1956: 1-1 (friendly) 12/21/1980: 2-0 ( friendly) 5/19/1982: 1-1 (friendly) 6/17/1983: 2-1 (friendly) 6/21/1989: 0-1 (friendly) 11/15/2006: 2-1 (friendly) 8/14/2013: 0-1 (friendly) All matches from 1983 to 2013 occurred in Basel. The first match was in São Paulo, the second one in Zurich. 1980 in Cuiabá and 1982 in Recife. The italicized Swiss players from the roster that faced Japan played Brazil in the last match in 2013.