21st of June 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Serbia are looking to secure their qualification from FIFA World Cup Group E when they meet Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium on Friday. These two teams have never met before, even though both have been present at several final tournaments. Serbia have missed out on qualification for the 2014 World Cup and have never qualified from the group stage since the break up of the former Yugoslavia. Switzerland on the other hand have qualified for the last three final tournaments and have reached the last sixteen both in 2006 and 2014.
Serbia have started the 2018 World Cup with a 1-0 victory against Costa Rica thanks to a superb free-kick strike from Aleksandar Kolarov, a result which gives them the chance to secure qualification before meeting Brazil, the strongest team in Group E. This is a great chance for Serbia to pull through to the next round but a defeat would seriously damage their chances, leaving them with a decisive final match against mighty Brazil. Head coach Mladen Krstajic doesn't have any injury concerns ahead of this match, so he will most likely field the same starting eleven.
Switzerland pulled off a big upset in their opening match, holding favourites Brazil to a 1-1 draw. Moreover, the Swiss managed to fight back after Philippe Coutinho had put Brazil ahead in the first half. Switzerland defender very well against a rather slow Brazil, but that draw will not count for much unless they at least avoid defeat against Serbia as well. Valon Behrami picked up a knock during the match against Brazil but he should be able to recover in time for Friday's game.
Serbia: Stojkovic - Ivanovic, Milenkovic, Tosic, Kolarov - Milivojevic, Matic - Tadic, Milinkovic-Savic, Ljajic - Mitrovic
Switzerland: Sommer - Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez - Behrami, Xhaka - Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Zuber - Seferovic
My prediction: 0-0 draw, both teams will try their best not to lose this match.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Serbia win - 2.80
Draw - 3.10
Switzerland - 2.90
18th of June 2018
7th of July 2018
I think that the Serbs played a bit naive in this game, they was clearly the dominating side in the first half and took the lead but after the first 10 minutes after the break they lost the initiative and allowed the experience Swiss side to take advantage.
I think the Serbian coach approached the substitutes a bit naive because the draw would of also be a reasonable result but he tried to win the game making an attacking changes and that didn't ended too well.
The other reason I think was that all the Serbs looked dead tired after the break so obviously there was a fatigue issue with the squad as well.
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