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World Cup Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

The ESPN FC crew discuss the World Cup draw.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the World Cup draw.

This has the feel of a pretty competitive group. Brazil, the second seeds, come up against the third-best teams in pot 2 and 3 and the best-ranked side in pot 4. Considering Brazil's history and tradition, and their form under Tite, they probably won't be worried, but it could have gone better.

Predicted finish

1. Brazil -- The Selecao qualified top of the toughest confederation with four games to spare and look the real deal under Tite.

2. Switzerland -- Below Brazil it's really tough to call. Switzerland were excellent in qualifying, winning all but one of their games and expect to be in the round of 16.

3. Costa Rica -- Quarterfinalists last time around, they remain an awkward team to play against. If Switzerland or Serbia have an off day, they could surprise again.

4. Serbia -- The Serbs have lost only twice in their past 14 games and have finally decided to call up Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is the closest thing Serie A has to Paul Pogba since the Frenchman rejoined Manchester United.

SPI

Group E
Brazil and Switzerland are tipped to make it through.

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Must-see match: Switzerland vs. Serbia

The final game in Nizhny Novgorod between Switzerland and Serbia looks particularly tasty. Expect qualification to be on the line and some meaty challenges. You've got Aleksandar Kolarov up against Stephan Lichtsteiner on one flank. Nemanja Matic and Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park. One suspects it will not be for the faint of heart.

If Neymar can lead Brazil to the World Cup in Russia, the Ballon d'Or could he his in 2018.

X factor: Neymar

In 1958 it was the Maracanazo. In 2014, the 7-1 humiliation they suffered at the hands of Germany. The Brazilians are no doubt relieved not to be hosts. Europe was the setting of their first World Cup win and Neymar knows that if he leads the Selecao to glory in Russia, he will have the edge on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Ballon d'Or. His record of 53 goals in 83 games for his country at 25 is just astonishing.

James covers the Italian Serie A and European football for ESPN FC Follow him on Twitter @JamesHorncastle.

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