Can the likes of Serbia, Switzerland and Costa Rica stop Brazil from claiming nine points in group E? It’s really hard to put money on such scenario given that Brazil are by far the strongest side in this group and given they will be highly motivated to wash their hands after a humiliating 1-7 defeat in last term’s semis to Germany on home soil.
Brazil are the kings of this competition as no other country has managed to lift the silverware on fine occasions, as Selecao have. They always just have to be regarded as one of the top contenders for the crown. Nonetheless, the Brazilians have won their last trophy back in 2002 when Ronaldo led them to the title in South Korea/Japan.
South Americans will travel to Russia in a super strong line-up well covered on all fields. Neymar is no doubts the main star (we all hope to see him at the competition after the tough injury he had suffered playing for PSG this year), but he will have a huge help in the names of Philippe Coutinho (who has finally made a move to Barcelona) and Roberto Firmino (who has been enjoying an amazing campaign in Liverpool this term). Brazil have eased past their opponents in the qualifying campaign finishing ten points clear off the main challengers Uruguay in second and netting an impressive 41-goal tally in the process.
Switzerland have had an extraordinary qualifying campaign which has miraculously seen them come second to Portugal in their respective group in spite of winning nine out of ten matches along the way. The last round’s defeat in Lisbon has forced them to feature the playoffs where they’ve struggled badly for goals past a stern Northern Ireland side. Eventually, it was Milan’s Riccardo Rodriguez whose controversial penalty made all the difference over two legs last autumn.
The well experienced likes of Xerdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka will lead Vladimir Petkovic’s side in Russia, but we must question team’s abilities to get results against world’s greats, such as Brazil. La Nati have never gone beyond the quarterfinals of the competition, and they’ve actually reached this stage only once, back in 1954 when they hosted the tournament. Switzerland were stopped in the last 16 round of EURO 2016 in France falling to Poland on penalties.
Most experts see Costa Rica as huge underdogs in this company, but that’s just what the CONCACAF zone country needs and wants. The Los Ticos were labelled the same four years ago in the group of death together with the Uruguay, Italy and England, but they’ve respectably won seven points in three games against such an opposition to make it all the way to the quarterfinals where Netherlands were too strong.
Costa Rica’s main strength stands between the posts as Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas is by far the biggest name in their ranks. Los Angeles’ Marco Urena will be the man to watch, while one just has to appreciate the experience the likes of Bryan Ruiz, Christian Bolanos and Joel Campbell have.
Finally, we have Serbia who have cruised past countries like Austria, Republic of Ireland and Wales to earn their spot in Russia this summer. Interestingly, the Serbians have made the change on the bench even though Slavoljub Muslin had terrific results in the mentioned group. The team will be led by a well-known face in their local community, Mladen Krstajic. The former national team captain has had a fantastic career plying for Schalke 04, but can he make an impact as the manager?
The Serbians truly have some world class names in their squad, featuring Nemanja Matic who has been fabulous for Manchester United since joining Chelsea last summer. Aleksandar Mitrovic has been going through a real renaissance in Fulham and he will no doubts be super dangerous in the final third.
FIFA World Cup Group E – Predictions and Bet Tips
Brazil are the main favourites and they will likely top the group with three wins. The battle for the second place will be super intense, but we do believe that Serbia will manage to stay above Switzerland and Costa Rica only just.
Group E Correct Forecast 1st and 2nd place – Brazil and Serbia @ 3.25
Costa Rica to finish bottom of group @ 1.66