Brazil’s Neymar attends a training session in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Brazil will face Switzerland on June 17 in the group E for the soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Group E of the 2018 World Cup in Russia begins on Sunday June 17.

Costa Rica take on Serbia at the Cosmos Arena in Samara at 1pm in the first match, before Brazil play Switzerland at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don at 7pm.

It is expected either Serbia or Switzerland will progress from Group E and join favourites Brazil in the knockout stages.

Both of Sunday’s matches will be televised on ITV.

Costa Rica vs Serbia

This match will be the first ever encounter between the two nations.

Serbia had an impressive qualification campaign, where they topped a strong group featuring Republic of Ireland, Wales and Austria.

Striker Aleksander Mitrovic (6 goals) and playmaker Dusan Tadic (7 assists) both played starring roles for Serbia during that campaign.

Costa Rica finished second to Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifying group and shouldn’t be written off after their heroics at the 2014 World Cup.

Four years ago in Brazil, the Central American nation topped the ‘group of death’ containing Uruguay, Italy and England before losing on penalties to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

Mitrovic and midfielder Adem Ljajic have recovered from minor knocks, while Costa Rica will be without defender Ronald Matarrita after he suffered a hamstring injury.

Brazil vs Switzerland

Brazil are the tournament favourites, with bookmakers expecting them to bounce back from their 7-1 semi-final humiliation to Germany four years ago.

Given the talent and depth in their squad, it will be a big surprise if the South Americans don’t top Group E.

Talisman Neymar was involved in more goals than any other player in the CONMEBOL qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup (6 goals, 8 assists) and has recovered from injury to feature.

Switzerland won all but one of their games in the regular qualifying phase for Russia 2018 (W9 L1), with the only defeat coming away to Portugal.

Star man Xherdan Shaqiri has been directly involved in five of Switzerland’s last six goals at major tournaments (4 goals, 1 assist). He’s also the last player to score a hat-trick at the World Cup (v Honduras, 2014).

Brazil have no injury concerns, while Switzerland’s Admir Mehmedi misses out with a torn ligament.