To prepare you for the tournament, The18 has launched team-by-team previews for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This is the preview for Group G's Switzerland.
Switzerland World Cup 2022 Preview
World Cup appearances: 12th
Best finish: Quarterfinals (1934, 1938, 1954)
How they got here: The Swiss went undefeated and finished top of UEFA qualifying Group C, above European champions Italy.
Coach: Murat Yakin (Swiss)
Strongest XI: (4-2-3-1) Yann Sommer; Ricardo Rodriguez, Nico Elvedi, Manuel Akanji, Silvan Widmer; Remo Freuler, Granit Xhaka; Haris Seferovic, Rubén Vargas, Xherdan Shaqiri; Breel Embolo
Injuries: Yann Sommer (questionable, ankle), Yvon Mvogo (knee)
What's to like: This group advanced to the round of 16 at the last World Cup, the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 and then finished above Italy in qualifying to contribute to the Azzurri's demise. They're extremely difficult to beat, conceding only two goals in qualifying with a talented backline that's shielded by two very good defensive midfielders. Arsenal's Granit Xhaka is in the best form of his career.
In attack, Xherdan Shaqiri and Haris Seferovic have combined for 12 goals at major international tournaments. It's a duo that's gotten it done against the likes of France, Spain and Ecuador on the biggest stages, and they'll enjoy playing against the inexperience of Cameroon and the soft backline of Serbia. 25-year-old striker Breel Embolo is another danger man with 58 caps and 11 goals, including seven from his last 18.
What's not to like: The 31-year-old Shaqiri and 30-year-old Seferovic have experienced dramatic dips in their club careers over the last couple years. Shaqiri hasn't played since the Chicago Fire's season ended on Oct. 9 and Seferovic hasn't scored for Galatasaray this season. Influential goalkeeper Yann Sommer is also just returning from an ankle injury that's sidelined him for a month.
Group stage opponent Serbia got the better of Portugal in qualifying, and Portugal hammered Switzerland 4-0 in the Nations League this past summer. There's also five-time world champions Brazil to consider.
X-Factor: Breel Embolo looks more confident and influential with every cap, and he enters the tournament in good form with seven goals and two assists in 14 Ligue 1 appearances with Monaco.
Best hair: Yann Sommer
Most likely to fuck it all up: Granit Xhaka has experienced a story of total redemption with Arsenal as the Gunners sit top of the table, but sport, and life, is all about getting crushed by the wheel of fortune so he'll probably experience something terrible in Qatar.
What will make this a good World Cup: After reaching the last 16 in three of the last four World Cups, the Swiss are targeting the quarters.
Bonus prediction: Brazil beats Switzerland 3-1, but Switzerland's consolation strike wins the Hyundai World Cup Goal of the Tournament after Shaqiri hits a 35-yard side volley that Alisson can do nothing about.