Senderos warns Brazil as World Cup favourites prepare for Switzerland clash

Switzerland shocked Spain back in 2010 and Philippe Senderos says Brazil could be in for a similarly tough World Cup opener.

Published : Jun 15, 2018 14:05 IST

Switzerland is prepared to spring a surprise on Neymar and Brazil in Sunday's World Cup clash in Rostov, according to Philippe Senderos.

The 2018 favourites begin its campaign against Vladimir Petkovic's side, which has only suffered one defeat since exiting Euro 2016 at the last-16 stage after a penalty shoot-out loss to Poland.

Tite's men are still expected to claim all three points, having won 12 and lost only one of their 18 World Cup qualifying matches, while also claiming four victories from four in 2018 without conceding a goal.

Senderos, though, says Switzerland could repeat its 2010 exploits, where he was part of the side that beat eventual winners Spain 1-0 in its opening fixture.

"We never know," the centre-back told Omnisport, courtesy of Houston Dynamo. "We surprised Spain in the opening match in South Africa and it could very well happen again.  

"It will obviously be a big task, like it was in the last World Cup, but Switzerland has a very good team and it can beat anyone on their day."

Senderos has high hopes for a 2018 squad he thinks is the most talented yet.

"Hopefully [we'll] pass the first round and we know this is probably the most talented Swiss team we've ever had. Switzerland can beat anyone on its day," he said. "Hopefully, they go through the first round and, with that confidence, they can go even further."

Switzerland's hopes of escaping Group E, which also contains Serbia and Costa Rica, will likely rest on the form of Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri. Neither player has had wholly successful seasons, with Xhaka struggling for consistency in Arsenal's midfield and Shaqiri suffering relegation at Stoke City.

But Senderos, who missed out on a place in Petkovic's plans for Russia, has no doubt about the Premier League duo's quality.

"I don't think they've had difficult seasons," added the 33-year-old. "Granit has been tremendous, he's played most of the games and Xherdan Shaqiri played also a lot of games. Unfortunately, his team haven't performed as well as they should have, they've had a manager change as well and Stoke have struggled a little bit.

"They're both tremendous players and for sure they're going to be protagonists at this next World Cup."

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