Soccer-Switzerland enter rematch against Brazil with more experience, Shaqiri says


Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Switzerland Training - University of Doha Training Facilities, Doha, Qatar - November 27, 2022 Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri during training REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

DOHA (Reuters) - Midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri said on Sunday that Switzerland were going into their World Cup group-stage match against Brazil with more experience and poise than they did when they drew with the Brazilians at the 2018 World Cup.

Monday's Group G match in Qatar will be the third time that Switzerland have played Brazil at the World Cup. The teams last met in the group stage of the 2018 tournament in Russia, where they drew 1-1.

Shaqiri, who has represented Switzerland in four consecutive World Cups, said the Swiss felt capable of getting a better result against Brazil this time.

"That was a positive outcome," Shaqiri said of the 2018 draw. "We are aware of what we can do and I think we have made progress. We have more experience and have been challenged by greater teams since."

Switzerland have reached the knockout stage in three of their last four World Cups but crashed out at the group stage in 2010. Brazil, unbeaten in qualifying for Qatar, have won the World Cup five times and are favourites to win a record-extending sixth title.

Murat Yakin, Switzerland's manager, said Neymar's absence from the Brazilian line-up due to an ankle injury had no impact on the Swiss preparation or tactics.

"I think that team has enough excellent players to build three teams," Yakin said of Switzerland's opponents. "The challenge is not going to get easier for us."

Switzerland edged Cameroon 1-0 in their opening match, and a win against Brazil would see them through to the round of 16 if Serbia fail to win against Cameroon on Monday.

Shaqiri said Switzerland could not afford to squander any scoring opportunities if they wanted to have a chance of defeating the mighty Brazilians.

"If you don't get a lot of opportunities, you really need to take advantage of them," he said. "That's what we want to do tomorrow."

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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