DOHA: Serbia (top) and Cameroon  players in action during their respective training sessions at the Al Arabi SC and the Al Sailiya SC training facilities on Sunday, on the eve of their Group ‘G’ fixture. The sides go into Monday’s match knowing that anything less than a victory could send them packing from the World Cup by the time Brazil and Switzerland play later in the day. Serbia are bottom of the group after losing 2-0 to pre-tournament favourites Brazil while Cameroon’s 1-0 loss to Switzerland means the African side are still seeking their first victory in the World Cup since 2002. The match arguably gives both Cameroon and Serbia their best chances of opening their account in Qatar. But a loss for either team — combined with a draw between Brazil and Switzerland — would prematurely bring the curtains down on their campaign, with nothing to play for but pride in their final group game on Dec. 2.—AFP
DOHA: Serbia (top) and Cameroon players in action during their respective training sessions at the Al Arabi SC and the Al Sailiya SC training facilities on Sunday, on the eve of their Group ‘G’ fixture. The sides go into Monday’s match knowing that anything less than a victory could send them packing from the World Cup by the time Brazil and Switzerland play later in the day. Serbia are bottom of the group after losing 2-0 to pre-tournament favourites Brazil while Cameroon’s 1-0 loss to Switzerland means the African side are still seeking their first victory in the World Cup since 2002. The match arguably gives both Cameroon and Serbia their best chances of opening their account in Qatar. But a loss for either team — combined with a draw between Brazil and Switzerland — would prematurely bring the curtains down on their campaign, with nothing to play for but pride in their final group game on Dec. 2.—AFP

AL RAYYAN: Five-times world champions Brazil could be without midfielder Lucas Paqueta for their next World Cup Group ‘G’ game against Switzerland on Monday.

Brazil were already set to miss their talisman Neymar and reliable full back Danilo, both ruled out by ankle injuries suffered in their opening 2-0 win over Serbia.

Real Madrid prodigy Rodrygo would be the first option if Tite decides to use the same system with four up-front alongside Vinicius Jr, Richarlison and Raphinha.

Real Madrid’s versatile centre back Eder Militao is likely to replace Danilo.

Another option would be 39-year-old veteran Dani Alves, the only right back available in the squad.

“I have already made my decision but will not disclose until game time,” Tite said.

“In strategic terms, I can make my decision regarding some behavioural changes or changes in the characteristics of players I have available.”

Tite is optimistic about Neymar’s recovery from his injury and that he will have his talisman back in time to help them win a record-extending sixth World Cup title.

“I believe that Neymar and Danilo will play again in the World Cup,” said on Sunday.

“Medically, clinically, I have no place to speak. But I do have our doctor’s opinion, the sensations talking to the players and seeing how hard they are working day and night to recover.

Brazil have load of quality options but Switzerland’s defender Nico Elvedi said his side would not be awed by the might of Brazil, saying they had enough quality to push the tournament favourites.

“Every team in this world is beatable,” the Borussia Moenchengladbach defender said.

A second-half goal from Elvedi’s former Gladbach team-mate Breel Embolo helped Switzerland to a 1-0 win over Cameroon in their opening fixture.

Avoiding defeat against Brazil would put the side in a strong position to reach the last 16 ahead of what will likely be a crucial final group stage clash with Serbia.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Slow start
Updated 15 Jun, 2024

Slow start

Despite high attendance, the NA managed to pass only a single money bill during this period.
Sindh lawlessness
Updated 15 Jun, 2024

Sindh lawlessness

A recently released report describes the law and order situation in Karachi as “worryingly poor”.
Punjab budget
15 Jun, 2024

Punjab budget

PUNJAB’S budget for 2024-25 provides much fodder to those who believe that the increased provincial share from the...
Budget and politics
Updated 14 Jun, 2024

Budget and politics

PML-N, scared of taking bold steps lest it loses whatever little public support it has, has left its traditional support — traders — virtually untouched.
New talks?
14 Jun, 2024

New talks?

WILL this prove another false start, or may we expect a more sincere effort this time? Reference is made to the...
A non-starter
14 Jun, 2024

A non-starter

WHILE the UN Security Council had earlier this week adopted a US-backed resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza...