Daily preview of the 2022 World Cup: World Cup favorites Brazil to headline Thanksgiving

World Cup betting favorites Brazil will make their official debut at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Thanksgiving when they face Serbia on Thursday, who lead a quadruple header on Thursday.

On that day, Group G and Group H face off in a series of crucial opening matches that will help set the trajectories for the group stage. Cameroon battle Switzerland to start things bright and early, followed by two fascinating encounters – Uruguay versus South Korea and Portugal versus Ghana – before the nightcap features star-studded Brazil.

Here is a preview of matchday 5 of the 2022 World Cup:

Switzerland vs. Cameroon – 5am

how to watch

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The matchup

Cameroon couldn’t have a worse matchup for their opening game of the tournament. If the Indomitable Lions under coach Rigobert Song are characterized as a team in transition without solid tactical structures, Switzerland is exactly the opposite. While neither team has a solid source of goals, Switzerland are well-trained, organized and hard-working, which will make life difficult for Cameroon’s forwards. Whichever team overextends and goes under in the game will find life very, very difficult, both in this game and as the tournament progresses.

Players in mind: Yan Sommer

Switzerland-Czech Republic: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 2

Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

We might not have many goalkeepers to keep an eye on at this tournament, but Sommer is the real heartbeat of the Swiss side and the one primarily responsible for keeping the group as organized and defensively solid as they are identified their team. He is a player who, like many strikers, can transform a game as a great penalty taker.

Uruguay vs South Korea – 8am

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The matchup

This duel represents another great contrast in terms of style and team identity. If you know anything about Uruguay historically, they always come to World Cups as much more than just a sum of their collective talents. They’re fierce – nasty, even – and persistent for 90 minutes. But if there was ever a year they needed that tenacity to get through, it’s this year when they’re clearly vulnerable at the back with firepower up front.

But never sleep with South Korea – a team that may not be quite as physical as Uruguay but are always a well-trained, disciplined team. And they have one of the best forwards in the world, Son Heung-Min, leading the line (who wears a mask to protect a recently fractured cheek).

Players in mind: Darwin Nuñez

Uruguay vs Canada – International Friendly

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Liverpool’s star winger seems poised to take over the global stage as Uruguay’s next star. It’s already happened at club level with his monster move to Liverpool, but there’s nothing that cements a star like producing at a World Cup. South Korea will have their hands full taking care of him.

Portugal vs Ghana – 11am

how to watch

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The matchup

We know how this should end. World-class Portuguese players overwhelm a brave Ghanaian side but prove just too much. That could certainly happen, but there’s an air of volatility blowing around a Portugal side that should be among the best in the world. Multiple players either injured, out of shape or creating a media circus could prove stumbling blocks for an otherwise stretched squad.

Ghana have the youngest team in the tournament with a remarkable average age of just 23.5 – half a year younger than the second youngest United States. With that youth comes a lot of uncertainty, but they also have a handful of players with world-class experience and talent that they will rely on to see them through the tournament. In this particular duel watch out as they overwhelm Portugal with their speed at the break to try to overtake the more technical side.

Players in mind: Bernardo Silva

Portugal vs. Nigeria - Friendly Match

Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

If there’s one player who symbolizes the platonic ideal of how his national team should play, it’s Bernardo Silva. Silva has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world since joining Manchester City from Benfica in 2017 and is the player who makes this Portuguese side tick. It is the oil in the engine that makes the parts thrive. And he will make life hell for a young Ghanaian midfield who have struggled to eliminate such players in recent games.

Brazil vs Serbia – 2pm

how to watch

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The matchup

Brazil are poised to win their first World Cup since 2002. It’s remarkable that it’s been 20 years since they’ve hoisted the Jules Rimet trophy considering how big they are in football. The team goes into this year’s tournament with world-class talent at almost every position and one of the most experienced rosters they have fielded in the 20 years since their last win. Serbia will obviously try to scrape for points in this game. But if something is on their side, it’s the experience of being in the same group with Brazil in Russia just four years ago.

Player to watch: Neymar

Japan vs. Brazil – International Friendly

Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images

With Brazil there are so many options to choose from. But realistically, when Neymar is on the field, especially for Brazil, it’s hard to watch anyone else.

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