Joey - June 25, 2018
Serbia vs Brazil
World Cup Group E
Date: Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Kick-Off at 19:00 UK / 20:00 CET
Venue: Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow.
Philippe Coutinho saved the day for Brazil by breaking the deadlock late at the death of the clash with group underdogs Costa Rica on Friday afternoon in St. Petersburg. Selecao thus got their World Cup campaign up and running after a slow start and a 1-1 draw with Switzerland on the opening day.
Can one of the main contenders for the crown complete the first-place finish with a confident victory against the European hopefuls on Wednesday?
The Serbians got off to a dream kick off to their decisive second-round clash with Switzerland. Their main forward Aleksandar Mitrovic headed the ball home to put Mladen Krstajic’s side ahead just five minutes into the game as it seemed Serbia are in full control after the first 45 minutes.
Nevertheless, everything fell apart for the Balkans outfit as they conceded the early second-half goals from Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka whose beautiful effort from outside-the-box went past Vladimir Stojkovic.
The head coach decided to go for the win by replacing the defensive midfielder with an attacking-minded creator. The decision proved to be fatal as there were no Serbian players at all in their own half late in the stoppage time when Stoke City’s Xerdan Shaqiri provided a cool finish after bearing 60 yards down the goal.
Serbia now need a miracle and the victory over the likes of Brazil to advance, following their opening victory against Costa Rica. It is all but mission impossible for the Europeans, but they will need the best display of the generation to perform a miracle and eliminate one of the main contenders.
Stojkovic – Ivanovic, Milenkovic, Tosic, Kolarov – Milivojevic, Matic – Tadic, Milinkovic-Savic, Kostic – Mitrovic.
Alisson – Fagner, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo – Paulinho, Casemiro, Coutinho – Willian, Jesus, Neymar.
The two sides met each other just once in the past. The clash had a friendly character and was played before the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. The Selecao took a narrow 1-0 victory through Fred.
Serbia are in desperate need for the victory here, but we don’t expect them to push forward from the get go. Their only chance comes from counter attacks which have to be lethal on the day.
Nevertheless, we must say an upset would be unlikely scenario, particularly knowing Brazilians will head into the game in much higher spirits following a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica.
Tite has a deadly attacking line-up which has to start producing sooner or later. Did late two goals against Los Ticos just start the engine?
Given Serbia’s morale was killed with the last-gasp defeat to Switzerland, we’d not be surprised to see an early opener bringing Selecao into a position to clinch a comprehensive victory by three or more goals here.
In all, Brazil can be classified as massive favourites based on circumstances and we’ll back their win as a banker at 1.50 odds. Braver punters will fancy the 2.50 odds offered for Selecao to win by two or more goals.