Switzerland hope for home game in Sao Paulo

BRASILIA Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:20pm EDT

Switzerland's goalkeeper Diego Benaglio watches France's Moussa Sissoko score France's fifth goal during their 2014 World Cup Group E soccer match at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador June 20, 2014. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Switzerland's goalkeeper Diego Benaglio watches France's Moussa Sissoko score France's fifth goal during their 2014 World Cup Group E soccer match at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador June 20, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Sao Paulo's concrete jungle could not be more different than the peaceful mountainsides of Switzerland yet goalkeeper Diego Benaglio believes his team will feel at home when they face Argentina in the teeming metropolis on Tuesday.

The Swiss goalkeeper said he expected Brazil's rivalry with Argentina would make the local fans support his team and turn it into a home game for them.

"I think we will definitely have the support of the Brazilian fans in the stadium," Benaglio told reporters at Switzerland's training camp in Porto Seguro.

"You can feel the rivalry between Brazil and Argentina here.

"I hope that we have their backing and as well as the support of the Swiss fans in the stadium, it would be great if Switzerland could have a home game."

Lionel Messi scored his first hat-trick for Argentina when they beat Switzerland 3-1 in a friendly in Berne two years ago and Benaglio admitted he would be difficult to stop.

"We are preparing just as we do for any other game. However, it's clear that it will be difficult to completely take Messi out of the game," he said.

"You can see so many videos of Messi where he does something surprising at a decisive moment."

Switzerland are one of only six European teams to reach the last 16 and Benaglio said there would be no question of relaxing.

"Although we've reached our target, which is the last 16, that does not mean that we must switch off," he said.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)