FIFA World Cup Live 2014

Switzerland v Ecuador

Switzerland v Ecuador



The effect of the heat and humidity in Brazil might have been slightly overstated. Only the venues to the north are really hot, only games played at lunchtime or in the afternoon get the worst of the temperatures, and plenty of teams are fine in the heat anyway. When it gets interesting is when a European side has to take on a technically inferior outfit from hotter climes, in hot conditions.

Welcome to the first of those matches. Brasilia isn't the hottest city in the country but it'll be plenty warm enough at 1pm, when Switzerland kick off against Ecuador.

This Swiss side isn't the solid but uninspired outfit we've seen in recent tournaments. They're sound at the back but now combine that with young, skilful attackers. They won the Under-17 World Cup in 2009. They reached the final of the Under-21 European Championship in 2011, losing to Spain. Now they're here on the world stage proper. 

Stocker, Xhaka and Shaqiri, the 3 in a 4-2-3-1 formation, are all terrific prospects, as is striker Josip Drmic, who smashed in 17 goals during Nürnberg's relegation battle in the Bundesliga. They ultimately went down but Drmic has been snapped up by top-four side Bayer Leverkusen and could, if he can make the step up psychologically, be a breakout star of this tournament.

Ecuador by contrast are a workmanlike team, powerful but uninspired and prone to leaking goals against the weakest opposition. Their defence will be terrified of the Swiss front four. They have a history of relying on a favourable playing environment: were their home games not played at punishingly high altitude in Quito, they wouldn't have qualified. The heat might be their best hope here.


Switzerland v Ecuador (Kick-off 5.00pm). All the action from both teams' opening Group E contest, held at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil. Switzerland produced a major upset in their opening encounter four years ago when they won 1-0 against Spain. However, they were still eliminated at the group stage following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chile and a goalless draw with Honduras. This time around, they will go into the competition with hopes of reaching the knockout stages following an impressive qualification campaign that saw them claim seven wins and three draws from their 10 matches. The Ecuadorians, who are captained by Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, did particularly well to qualify from the highly competitive South American zone, but the basis of their success was their excellent home record, meaning questions remain regarding how they will perform in Brazil. The Ecuadorians' last appearance in the World Cup finals was in 2006, when they finished second in their group behind hosts Germany before being eliminated by England in the last 16. Presented by Adrian Chiles, with commentary by Sam Matterface and Clarke Carlisle, and analysis by Glenn Hoddle, Gus Poyet and Patrick Vieira.