Swiss team depart for Russia with eye on opening game vs Brazil

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Kloten (Switzerland), June 11 (IANS) Switzerland’s national soccer team jetted off to Russia on Monday, where the players are scheduled to install themselves in the city of Samara, their assigned base for the duration of the FIFA World Cup.

Images released showed the team was in good spirits and seemingly relaxed just prior to take-off from Zurich airport, where the World Cup line-up was treated to a send-off from several loyal fans, reports Efe.

The Alpine nation is currently sixth in the FIFA World Rankings. However, they have a mountain to climb in the opening stages of Group E, with a fixture on Sunday against one of the competition’s hottest favourites Brazil, in which the experience of long-serving defender Stephan Lichtsteiner will be vital to check the threat posed by the likes of Neymar Jr.

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Once pass Brazil, many fans will no doubt look to Zherdan Shaqiri, the team’s forward who plies his trade in the English Premier League with Stoke City.

Hope for the Swiss also lies with striker Breel Embolo, a bright young spark who at just 21 will look to make his name on the international stage having overcome a horrific ankle injury playing for Schalke in the Bundesliga in 2016.

Switzerland will hope to better their most recent record in the 2014 Brazil World Cup, which saw the squad bow out in the round of 16.

–IANS

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