Brazil's passage to the knockout phase of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009 will be on the line on Friday when they take on Switzerland in their final Group B game in Abuja. The Helvetians, who already stamped their ticket to the last 16 with two wins from two, will be keen to maintain their winning run and take the scalp of the three-time world champions.
Few would have predicted the current scenario in Group B, where Switzerland, with six points from two games, are through to the knockout phase and in a position to jeopardise the progress of one of the pre-tournament favourites, Brazil. The South Americans, currently second on goal difference from Mexico, to whom they succumbed 1-0 on Tuesday, need all three points to be certain of a place in the next round and not have to depend on results elsewhere.
Meanwhile in the Swiss camp, coach Dany Ryser has confirmed that, despite having some fatigued players in the squad, they will not be changing their game plan and will use the best side available against A Canarinha.
22- The number of years since Brazil's one and only group-stage elimination at a FIFA U-17 World Cup. That blemish occurred at Canada 1987, when they failed to emerge from a pool containing Australia, France and Saudi Arabia.
"It's a pleasure to be taking on a team of Brazil's stature, without doubt one of the best in the world. I've told my boys to respect but not fear them. We've already shown we can play good football and win games, and we'll be hoping to prove that again in Friday's important fixture." Dany Ryser, Switzerland coach
"Switzerland are very strong physically and have also shown remarkable tactical discipline. They'll make things difficult for us, of that I've no doubt. We have a more technical game and depend more on the spaces we make for ourselves on the pitch. However, from what I've seen there's no need to be alarmed. If we respect them and hold our nerve, there's no reason we can't win the game." Luiz Nizzo, Brazil coach