Brazil has its first major test on Monday, which is to pick up a win against Switzerland without their star player Neymar Jr. The Paris Saint-Germain forward picked up an injury in last week’s matchup versus Serbia.
As a result, the CONMEBOL side had to pick up two positive results to see them qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament. For the first 80 minutes, the situation wasn’t looking good for Brazil.
Life without Neymar proved to be more complicated. Then Manchester United’s Casemiro scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win over Switzerland, which according to Fox Soccer’s Maurice Edu, should help Brazil feel pleased that they can get a result without Neymar.
“There’s a drop-off,” Edu said about Brazil with no Neymar in the starting eleven. There’s always going to be a drop-off. Neymar is one of the best in the world. Right?
“And so when you take that kind of player out of your team, I think it’s natural that there’s going to be a little bit of a drop-off. I think what’s most important for them is they got the win. Small sample size again, but they hadn’t picked up a win without Neymar, so I think that goes a long way for this group.”
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 29, 2022
Brazil will be hoping that Neymar can get going when the Round of 16 gets underway, as they’ll need the PSG star if they want to get through these matches and reach the final to end their 20-year World Cup drought.