Saturday, July 21, 2018

Prediction: Serbia vs Switzerland

Verdict: Serbia

Betting Odds: 28/17

Bookmaker: 888sport

With Switzerland holding Brazil to a 1-1 stalemate in their first World Cup group stage game and Serbia beating Costa Rica, the forthcoming clash between these two nations could potentially be a direct decider on who goes into the knockout round.

Serbia

Mladen Krstajic’s courage and bravery paid off in Serbia’s opening World Cup match against Costa Rica. The inexperienced manager did not crumble under pressure and opted to go with an attack-oriented side against the tricky Ticos which eventually paid dividends for the Serbians.

The Orlovi put in a commanding display and were unlucky to take the lead through open play with Aleksandar Mitrovic fluffing two great goal chances. The match ultimately got decided by a moment of brilliance from captain Aleksandar Kolarov who struck in a beautiful free kick for an eruption of emotions. Three points against Costa Rica will have been a huge morale boost for Serbia who now promise to give their all to take another three points against Switzerland and all but secure their place in the knockouts ahead the final group stage match against Brazil. It will be easier said than done but Serbia have plenty about them to secure another triumph in Russia.

Team News

Mladen Krstajic is likely to push Sergej Milinkovic-Savic back to defensive midfield position in response to Swiss physicality, whereas Adem Ljajic is expected to be slotted back into the ACM position.

Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic picked up a knock against Costa Rica but is expected to be fit to feature should Krstajic decided to call upon him.

Switzerland

The Swiss national team used all of the experience they gained from playing together for a couple of years now to bully the World Cup favourites, Brazil, and hold them to a 1-1 draw which complicated things in Group E.

Vladimir Petkovic’s men were extremely physical against the Brazilians, and especially on Neymar, who picked up a knock and was even forced off from a training this week. Such an approach is not expected against Serbia, however, as Switzerland is likely to adopt a more attack-minded approach. The Swiss will attempt to use their speed in order to break the ageing Serbia backline through Xherdan Shaqiri and Steven Zuber, so we definitely should expect an eventful match in Kaliningrad. Switzerland are definitely hoping to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches and remain in the running for a spot in the World Cup knockouts.

Team News

Valon Behrami picked up a thigh strain against Brazil but is expected to be back in the starting line-up against Serbia.

Vladimir Petkovic will have no other selection issues for the forthcoming clash.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Serbia scored six goals in their last two matches
  • Each of SUI last 4 games finished with under 2.5 goals
  • Serbia will qualify for the knockout stages with a win
  • Switzerland are unbeaten in their last seven matches
  • Branislav Ivanovic will play his 105th match for Serbia vs Switzerland

Conclusion

Serbia and Switzerland have everything to play for and we expect to see a dynamic match between the two teams who share a political background as well with several Switzerland players being born in Kosovo. Switzerland must go all-in against the Orlovi who will be looking to hit them on the counter.

Verdict: Serbia

Betting Odds: 28/17

Bookmaker: 888sport

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