Announcements
*** New Last Man Standing Competition - Win up to £1500 Annually - See Competitions Forum ***
*** October Competition Winners: Well done to Roland Cooper (NAPS), BillyHills (KO Cup), Theodore007 (Football Tipster Competition), Bagzi (Last Man Standing Comp) & Demios (Poker) ***
StevieDay1983

Group E Predictions (Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia)

Recommended Posts

groupeodds.jpg

Group E is an intriguing mix of teams. Brazil are being tipped by many to reach the final. Serbia and Switzerland proved to be very robust in qualification. Costa Rica will also be hoping to repeat their impressive form from the 2014 World Cup. However, what do you guys think in terms of the betting? Let us know below! :ok

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brazil have over taken Germany as the bookies favourites to win the whole tournament since this post was made. So their price to win this group has also dropped. The battle for second place could be an interesting one. There is not a lot separating Switzerland, Serbia, and Costa Rica right now. It's too close to call. If I had a gun to my head then I'd probably back Switzerland but Serbia have grown in confidence over the past year and know how to grind teams down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SteveleDay1983, I agree with your analysis. Serbia might even out perform Switzerland. Costa Rica has been a bit out of touch in the world quarter finalist qualifications for a long time, apart for 2014 and they did not go further.

 

Team          P       W    D.    L    PTS

Brazil.          3.       3.   0.    0      9

Serbia.         3.       2     1   0.     7

Switzerland 3.     1.     2    0.    5

Costa Rica 3.     0      1.   2.    1

  •  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Dalan Quaice said:

SteveleDay1983, I agree with your analysis. Serbia might even out perform Switzerland. Costa Rica has been a bit out of touch in the world quarter finalist qualifications for a long time, apart for 2014 and they did not go further.

 

Team          P       W    D.    L    PTS

Brazil.          3.       3.   0.    0      9

Serbia.         3.       2     1   0.     7

Switzerland 3.     1.     2    0.    5

Costa Rica 3.     0      1.   2.    1

  •  

Yeah. I wasn't very impressed with Serbia against Wales. Both times we played them we really should have won during qualifying. However, they know how to grind out results. They will definitely perform better against teams that come at them. They are just as likely to beat Switzerland as they are to lose to Costa Rica! :lol I feel they have a stronger squad than Switzerland and Costa Rica but not sure they work better as a team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Group E - Serbia to qualify @ 2.4 Matchbook

Serbia qualifying price is drifting and I do not understand why. Agree with previous posts that there is very little between Switzerland and Serbia and really those teams should have almost identical valuations imo.

Some might argue that Switzerland are the more experienced and that may see them through but I am not really impressed with the overall quality of the squad. They didn't look that impressive in the playoffs either, just squeaking past Northern Ireland.

This Serbia squad may lack international tournament experience but the players themselves know what they're about and they'll have plenty of leaders on the pitch with the likes of Ivanovic, Matic and Milivojevic. The player I will be most excited to see is Milinkovic-Savic, he has interesting attributes / playing style.

Because of the drift in price from 2.1 to 2.4 I am happy to back Serbia here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I mentioned above, as a Wales fan, we had first hand experience of Serbia. They reminded me of the Germany of old. Never really performed well but still ground out the results. They also did improve as the qualification process went on. When it started I thought we'd take 6 points off them and I was adamant that automatic was between us, Ireland, and Austria. They started shoring up their defence and picking up points where they looked like they wouldn't. I think they're into that mindset of knowing what is required to get the job done. Switzerland will need to be at their best to get past Serbia in my opinion so think those odds are very attractive, @Mindfulness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2018 at 5:30 PM, Mindfulness said:

Group E - Serbia to qualify @ 2.4 Matchbook

Serbia qualifying price is drifting and I do not understand why. Agree with previous posts that there is very little between Switzerland and Serbia and really those teams should have almost identical valuations imo.

Some might argue that Switzerland are the more experienced and that may see them through but I am not really impressed with the overall quality of the squad. They didn't look that impressive in the playoffs either, just squeaking past Northern Ireland.

This Serbia squad may lack international tournament experience but the players themselves know what they're about and they'll have plenty of leaders on the pitch with the likes of Ivanovic, Matic and Milivojevic. The player I will be most excited to see is Milinkovic-Savic, he has interesting attributes / playing style.

Because of the drift in price from 2.1 to 2.4 I am happy to back Serbia here.

I like this, although Serbia do have Brazil in their final group game and you certainly don't want to be playing Brazil if they need a result. Probably the best value out there, should be a straight battle between Switzerland and Serbia for 2nd. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't having Brazil in their last game better? If they can take 4 points at least from those first two games then the pressure is off heading into the hardest game. Then again, if they lose one of those first two games then it's really screwed their chances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24.5.2018. at 6:30 PM, Mindfulness said:

Group E - Serbia to qualify @ 2.4 Matchbook

Serbia qualifying price is drifting and I do not understand why. Agree with previous posts that there is very little between Switzerland and Serbia and really those teams should have almost identical valuations imo.

Some might argue that Switzerland are the more experienced and that may see them through but I am not really impressed with the overall quality of the squad. They didn't look that impressive in the playoffs either, just squeaking past Northern Ireland.

This Serbia squad may lack international tournament experience but the players themselves know what they're about and they'll have plenty of leaders on the pitch with the likes of Ivanovic, Matic and Milivojevic. The player I will be most excited to see is Milinkovic-Savic, he has interesting attributes / playing style.

Because of the drift in price from 2.1 to 2.4 I am happy to back Serbia here.

I really hope that you did not put a lot of money on this bet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry i'm late but better late than never i suppose. Also i apologize for my English which is not the best. I'll try not to make too many errors.
Post will be a long one because i feel that everyone should have a clear picture about things in Serbian football. You guess is wright - I'm Serb.
I would like to start with our FA. More precisely with the FA President - Slavisa Kokeza. Kokeza was, as it is said in a mafia jargon, a tiny fish. He held a security agency and a brothel on the Serbian-Bosnian border. He was close to the notorious Serbian Radical Party who had an active role in the wars of the nineties. Their leader Vojislav Seselj was tried at the Hague war crimes tribunal for which he was sentenced to ten years in prison.
In 2008, this party organized a rally of support to another convicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic. Kokeza secured this gathering during which there was a conflict with the police. In riots, he was beaten by the police. I'll try to post the link with the picture from a press conference after the rally. Kokeza is at the right in the picture, in the middle is Tomislav Nikolic, former president of Serbia, and left Aleksandar Vucic, current president of Serbia.
https://www.danas.rs/sport/serdari-i-vojvode-ponovo-jasu/

Next year, Nikolic and Vucic split the Serbian Radical Party and form their own with which they won elections in 2012. Kokeza remains close to them and after 2012 begins his rise in Serbian football. I have to give you another note here and I will no longer be interested in politics. Although President Vucic in recent years, since he is in power, says that he has changed - in fact, he is not. He continues to reject any personal and responsibility of Serbian politics for wars from the past. An autocrat who has crushed all democratic freedoms in the country and institutions as well. This is important to know and understand because it is directly linked to Kokeza.

With the direct support of Vucic, Kokeza first becomes vice president of our biggest football club - Red Star from Belgrade. After a short period and after the protest of the fans, he resigned and left the club. It turned out to be in an even better position - president of Serbian FA. 
Our football federation is completely corrupt. All his bodies. Unfortunately, now I can not find one picture from a few years ago when the Steering Committee held. All members arrived at the headquarters of the federation accompanied by personal bodyguards, and each bodyguard was armed to the teeth as we have a saying in Serbia. (to the teeth it means fully)
It's a strange combination of politics, football agents and underground (mafia,mobsters if you prefer these phrases). Everyone has interests because in a poor country like Serbia, football has a lot of money and plenty of opportunities for enrichment. 
And president of the FA is almost like a Don,head of the footbal mafia and he is loyal only to the politicians who put him there.

President Kokeez's first move was somewhat unexpected. He proposed Slavoljub Muslin for the head couch of our national team. Muslin was once a very solid player of the Crvena Zvezda and Yugoslavia. As a professional player he played in France. Muslin began his coaching career at the club where he finished his playing career, Brest. He moved to Bordeaux in 1995. With a team that had great potential and players such as Bixente Lizarazu, Christophr Dugari and the future world champion Zidane, Muslin had good results in the UEFA Cup season 1995/96. securing a place in the 1/4 finals. However, he got fired in 1996 due to bad results in the championship, which means he did not lead the team in the 1/4 finals, where the Girondins won the Milan tie and came to the final in which they were defeated by Bayern Munich.
After Lans and Le Man he finally came back to Red Star,this time as head coach. His time in the Red Star was very successful. We won three titles and played well in Euro Cups.After a split with Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) he was coach of Lokeren in Belguim and several clubs from Eastern Europe. Last appotment he had was in Krasnodar i think.

He came to be head coach of natioanl tema in a tricky moment. Behind us was an unsuccessful campaign for the Euro 2016. The players were left without morale and without the support of the fans. Muslin decided to build a team from the ground. He completely changed the system and formation. As a Crvena Zvezda fan I knew exactly what I could expect from Muslin. 
Tough game,very well organised team and a discipline players. It was a footbal philosophy where only result counts and only points are important. 
We all knew that Serbia not going to play some attractive football,no "joga bonito".
Team started to play in 3-5-2 formation and and from the beginning it started to produce results. At the beginning of the qualification campaign, our most important player was Dusan Tadic, who himself participated in all goals of Serbia as a scorer or assistant.
Muslin decided to rely more on experienced players and younger ones to get a chance from the bench. Some of your may know. Serbia was the champion of the world in New Zealand in the U-20 and this generation had many talented players. But for coach only important thing was the team to qualify for Russia, not young players to develop through important matches. This kind of thinking was a correct one for the majority of fans but not for the some part of players agents. 
A special problem was created with Sergei Milinković-Savić and his agent, Mateja Kežman. Sergei is probably the most talented player of the younger generation and is already a star in Lazio. He's regular in the team and is one of the best players for which his price has risen and why he is on the radar of the biggest Europeans clubs. 
Coach Muslin did put him on the list for the beggining of the qualification, but he wanted to Sergej start from the bench. His intention was for him to be the first substitute and to be some kind of "secret weapon" against our rivals. Sergej refused this and started to demand place in starting 11 and a guaranteed minutes. The coach did not allow this and Sergej left the team saying,and i quote:"i will not play for Serbia untill Muslin is head coach".
And this raised a lot of dust in Serbia media's and this is going to become a excuse for all the attacks on Muslin which will follow.
Of course, Muslin did not care too much about this incident and continued to do the best he could. As a result, we qualifiled for the World Cup even though our team did not played some beatifull football,but it was an efficient one and probably the only way we could do it with this group of players.
So what went wrong then? As the qualifications came to an end, and as it became clear that we would succeed, those corrupt pieces in our football began to put pressure on Muslin and sought a way to get him out.
Muslin, in fact, was never the part of this story. He spent most of his coaching career in foreign countries, in countries of a different football culture. He has never become bound in such activities. He kept himself and his principles and did not want to give up to football criminals.
This football mafia saw the chance for big money. Because spot in the World Cup brings big money directly from FIFA. And then there are other possibilities. As an opportunity for managerial players to push themselves into the team and then sell for better contracts ..and coach Muslin was an opstical for this kind of activities. 
And that's why they had to get rid of him. And although Muslin achieved what he came for, he was sacked.With the pretext that the matches were unpredictable, we played bad football, that the fans wanted a more attractive game and the best players in the team. 
Of course - none of this happened accidentally, on the contrary. It was all part of the well-planned plan of Slavisa Kokeza.

Muslin went with dignity, and instead of him, his assistant Mladen Krstajic became new head coach.

Since this post is too long, I will now publish it. And in the next, I will explain the current situation within the team and why exactly I think that Serbia will experience another disappointing tournament.
The next post will not be this long, I promise.:lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me continue :cigar

Mladen Krstajic,the new head coach,was a decent player with the decent professional career. His best days as player were in German Bundesliga where he played for clubs like Werder Bremen and Schalke 04. He was also playing for Serbia and was the part of the team which had that catastophic tournament in WC in Germany 2006.
As coach hi has no experience of what sort ever! Zero! Nothing! 

And this is the first and most important reason why i think this tournament will be another dissapointment. Krstajic has no coaching expirience,no right attitude and no authority over players i'm affraid.
And this something that cost us a lot in the past. 
Our shameless FA sacked a coach who maybe didn't was that popular but who delivered and put another man in his place. You simply DON"T do that ahead of WC

Our captain (Branislav Ivanovic,ex Chelsea now Zenit) was stripped of the captain's tape without any explanation.Rumors said that this was done because he was loyal to Muslin. After so many years in the national team as a captain and right before WC? You DON'T do that!

Further,
 Because of everything I mentioned in the first post, it's clear that the new coach is set up to do something else. This something is to be quiet and to not make trouble.For example that means that he "has to take" some players to WC. We have this joke in Serbia that even head coach was suprised when he saw final list/cut for the tournament (don't know if you get the joke - it means that someone else made the list,not him)
You assume correctly that on the list is Sergej, but also several other players who did not play in the qualifications, and many standard players were dropped.
Matija Nastasic (Schalke04) (ok,he's injured), Jagos Vukovic(Verona), NIkola Maksimovic(Napoli/Spartak Moscow),Ivan Obradovic (Anderlecht), Ljubomir Fejsa (Bennfica), Nebojsa Gudelj (Guangzhou), Nemanja Maksimovic (Valencia), Mijat Gacinovic (Eintracht Frankfurt),Nikola Milunovic (BATE Borisov), Stefan Mitrovic (Gent)..all left out from WC squad. You DON'T do that after they made it through the campaign.
In order to make things look even worse, our new coach used some of these players in friendly matches in March and now they are not in the team. If he already wanted to make changes, then in March against Morocco and Nigeria should be played by those who will travel to Russia. You DON'T to that!

Now in the team we have several complete debutants and players who are for the first time in the team. And there are also those managerial players that I wrote about and who are heading to the WC just to be to sell after it..Two of them are from my favorite club - Red Star - Nebojsa Rodic and Nemanja Radonjic. I love them very much,but they didn't deserved to be called up. Especially the first. Then Tosic from Besiktas who played some role in the qualis,but nothing special. Grujic from Cardiff (you know him @StevieDay1983 ) had a horrible season and played a bit.. a youngster from Fiorentina - Milenkovic who is completely unexpirienced at this level,Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt..etc
Of course that some of these guys are very talented,some of them were part of this golden generation from New Zealand, but the World Cup does not serve to play young players for the following qualifications. And we'll exactly do this. It's WRONG!

If I analyze our system and the positions of individual players it is clear that we will be in huge problems. From 3-5-2 wi'll switch to 4-3-3 E.g.
Defenders
Rukavina (which is a weak link anyway) has no substitute on the right back. Of course, that can be played by Bane Ivanovic, but the problem is that he did not play at all in the qualifications as full-right back, only the position of central defender.
No matter who will start on the positions of central-defenders the fact is that it's gonna be combination of two centre-backs who never played with each other before. And with Kolarov on left side and who is more wing-back player and very attacking-minded i really fear what can happen. Vladimir Stojkovic is our no.1 goalkeeper. On good day he can be fantastic,but on the bad day..well - let's say that he can do "wonders" like Karius. 

Midfield
In the midfield we have this dynamic duo from the EPL - Matic (Man Utd) & Milivojevic (Crystal Palace). They are the spine of this team,but literally don't have the substitude. Grujic is not at this level unfortunately. If one of them gets injured or suspended we're in deep,deep trouble. This is the part of team where we lost the most,i would say. No Gudelj,no Fejsa, no Gacinovic (who is more all-round player) and no Maksimovic from Valencia. 
I gotta feeling that we're gonna suffer defensively..huge

Wingers,offensive midfield
Our most creative players are Sergej,Tadic and Ljajic.
Sergej,like I said,wasn't part of team during qualification time. And because of injury he was not in the squad for the International friendlies back in March. So,this preparation period is actually only chance for him to get with team-mates. He's still very young but because all the rumble with previous coach Muslin,there is h-u-g-e pressure on his sholders to deliver what is expected. I think that if we don't going to get a decent result in Russia,the greatest critics will be thrown at him. And i really don't know how he will cope with this pressure. He can easilly under-perform
Ljajic (Torino) is a talented player i'll give you that,but a player with very problematic mentality and additude. He has long,long history of various behavioral and incident problems with the national team and in his club career as well. Because of this he have joined the team at the very end of qualifications. Frankly - don't know what to expect from him.
Tadic was convincingly our best player during qualifications. He opened the campaign in an impressive manner, and later he slightly dropped in the game. It was not unexpected. After all, he is not really a world class, otherwise he would play in a much better team than Southampton. I expect a lot from him, but I'm not sure how much he will succeed in the new formation and the new role ..
And what is more important no one actually knows what is Krstajic's idea with this three players and does he think to put them on the pitch in the same time? Maybe the following match against Bolivia will give us some answers..
Zivkovic is a very interesting player, but it seems that our coach's idea is to use him deeper in the midfield, which I think he can not play. He's very poor in defense. 
Kostic&Radonjic - i see both of them as a players from bench

Forwards
Mitovic,Prijovic,Jovic

Jovic is new here. Mitrovic is supposed to start every match,Prijovic is simmilar type..the only thing that matters about these guys is that they all lack creativity and heavily depending on their team mates. 

Conclusion
I really smell a disaster here. As you can all see from my analysys there is simply too much of YOU DON'T DO THAT here. Almost half of team is new,coach is new,not a happiest selection...this is simply not the best squad. More the most popular choice,a team gathered to be loved by the fans.
And there is a big problem beyond every other that i mentioned. It is a question of mentality and behavior. 
Our teams in the past have already shown such weaknesses. Even at the World Cups. Personally I feel the lack of the right motive even though this is the biggest competition. I do not see the idea that this is the climax of the season and even career. There are  signs of a feverish relaxation, as if there is not enough focus ... like going on a vacation, not a big competition. The team lost the discipline that adorned him with the previous coach and I struggle to see how Krstajic gonna handle this.
If we lose the first match against Costarica i think that we will completely fall apart

Betting angle
Serbia not to qualify @1,70
Serbia total points 0-2 @3,0 (or even 0-1 @5,0)
Serbia total points 0 @15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, waynecoyne said:

your English is better than you think Dr0

Well,i did found a lot of errors,mostly typo but i'm not going to correct anything. I hope everyone understood what i wanted to say. 

7 minutes ago, harry_rag said:

Not sure about the next post not being as long! :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts though, always good to have some informed insight.

Yeah,i apologize for that :)
Cheers :cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the posts @DrO, some of the things you've mentioned I am very concerned about, others not so much. I'm not going to go through each point one by one as it would take too much time but the thing that bothers me the most is the issue with the centre-backs. Why was Nikola Maksimovic not called up? lack of game time in domestic season?

Anyway I will stick with my Serbia selection. You still have a lot of old heads in the first team that can carry you through. Even if the Serbian national side is as corrupt, incompetent and feverishly relaxed as you say it is we can hope that these are just the criteria needed to overcome the uninspired yawn feasts of Switzerland and Costa Rica.

In answer to your original question, no I have not bet much on Serbia to qualify which is why I can keep the selection. After reading your posts I would say backing Serbia to qualify at medium or high stakes is not a recommended play + their odds have shortened since I took the bet.

Thanks once again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nobody actually offered an answer why Maksimovic would not travel to Russia, but it is assumed that this is the reason. Interestingly, however, lack of game did not prevent some other players from appearing on the list. Like Grujic or Milenkovic, for example. However, Maksimovic was regular in qualifying.

GL with your bet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@DrO, very interesting read. That's the sort of in-depth analysis of the Serbian national team that we don't get over here in the UK. I've made my comments in here already. I'm not surprised you're pessimistic. You're a fan of that nation. I can't remember the last time I encountered a fan who was genuinely optimistic and expectant heading into a major tournament. Every team has their issues it seems.

Funny you touch upon Grujic. We had him at Cardiff on loan since January and he struggled at first but soon adapted. However, he did miss out on the last month of the season pretty much and nobody really knows why. He looks like the sort of player that will thrive on the big stage.

I think a key factor to remember is that Serbia were in a tough qualification group and won it. I felt Austria were the best team we played during the qualification phase yet they finished 4th. You guys topped the group. You played tough teams most matches and got the job done. Switzerland haven't really played tough opposition other than Portugal. This World Cup could shock them. I think they'll fancy themselves to progress and that's where you guys could sneak in.

As for Costa Rica, I think last night's friendly with England was further proof that four years ago was an anomaly. They will prop up this group and struggle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone, and greetings from Serbia!

It feels great to see this forum alive and kicking after being away for a few years. I used to lurk and post years ago, but nowadays I l mostly limit my gambling and following matches to Euro and World Cups, as there isn't nearly as much time to analyse the games as there used to be.

That being said, I wanted to give some insight into the conditions surrounding our national team, but I see that DrO has beaten me to it, and already covered it all in detail. So, without repeating what has already been said, I'd just like to confirm that it's all true.

Both our international and club football has been on a decline for years now due to corruption and player agents having a say in who gets to play and who doesn't (two notable examples are Matić some years ago, and nowadays Milinković-Savić who, despite all the interest he's been getting from European clubs, got called up to the national squad only recently, mostly due to disputes between several player agents, as well as some members of our FA).

With that in mind, most people aren't optimistic about our chances at this World Cup, not so much due to our group opponents, but due to the fact that our greatest enemy is - ourselves. To add to that - our new manager is inexperienced and has been appointed only recently. We topped our qualifying group mostly on the back of other teams under performing, and some of the results may give a false impression of our team playing better than it actually is.

It's not about individual quality of the players as much as it is about the mentality and players taking sides and forming groups in the past competitions. On a good day, when there's a good team cohesion, our team is theoretically able to put a solid performance against most teams. Question is how often is that possible?

I'd say our strengths are a traditionally-solid backline, and if Matić, Milinković-Savić and co. have managed to build some cohesion between them, there should finally be some creativity in the midfield. However, the guys who are expected to score goals in the front usually lack flair, so I doubt we'll be able to score many goals unless there are plenty of chances to do so, or they get their goal served on a platter, which may be hard to pull off against the likes of Switzerland and Brazil.

Our first game, vs Costa Rica, will be crucial for our chances in this tournament. A loss, and possibly a draw pretty much put us out of contest immediately, as it would be unfair to expect anything better vs the next two opponents if we aren't able to put on a good display vs the (in theory) the weakest opponent in our campaign.

I recently watched the Costa Rica friendly vs Belgium, and my impression is that they are weak where we aren't very strong, which is the ability to put the defense off with 4-5 short passes which opens them up and creates a goal chance. I'd like to be proven wrong, but I wouldn't expect many goals in our opener game. However, I do expect us to find the net eventually, but the question is whether a moment of stupidity will make it even.

I think I'll try both teams to score, and test my luck with a small-stake bet on correct score 2:1 for Serbia, but only because failing to win this game puts us out of the competition prematurely.

Against Switzerland, I'd expect a low scoring game (under 2.5 goals), but I fail seeing us win that one, so either a draw or a narrow Switzerland win (perhaps a DNB if the odds are right).

A game vs Brazil will purely depend on whether they'll be looking to rest their players for the knockout stages, and how hard they be willing to go at it, presuming that they've already secured their advancement, which I expect to happen. Even in such a case, I think that Brazil are likely to come out on top without too much effort (possibly a win to nil, but I'll wait to see them play first to confirm my opinion about their very strong backline).

Sorry for turning this post into a needlessly long rant, and good luck with your bets!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Costa Rica vs Serbia

Group E action gets underway with Costa Rica and Serbia going head-to-head in a 1pm BST kick-off this coming Sunday at the Cosmos Arena in Samara. Brazil are certainly the favourites to top this group so a defeat for either side here could leave their qualification hopes for the 2nd round hanging by a thread.

Four years ago, Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup. That campaign was under the stewardship of former head coach Jorge Luis Pinto. The humiliating era of Paulo Wanchope followed for a short time before current manager Oscar Ramirez was appointed in 2015. Current evaluation of Ramirez would likely been OK but could do better. Qualification for this World Cup was relatively comfortable but friendly performances coming into this tournament have been a cause for concern.

Serbia were not fancied to make it out of their qualification group with many tipping Wales, Ireland, and even Austria to finish ahead of them. However, just one defeat in qualifying has led to an increase in expectations even if their own supporters are entering the tournament slightly pessimistic. A squad that includes the likes of Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Dusan Tadic, Nemanja Matic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Aleksandar Mitrovic should have more than enough to get something here.

I think Costa Rica will be back to their below par best. The odds on a Serbia win are too good to ignore. Having seen Serbia first hand after they played Wales in the qualifiers I know how tough they are to break down. If their midfield can kill games like they did in qualifying and they can counter attack effectively then I don't see why Serbia can't qualify from this group. I expect them to win this game and the match versus Switzerland will be the decider.

Serbia to win @ 1.95 with BetBright

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.65 with Blacktype

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brazil vs Switzerland

The tournament favourites begin their tournament on Sunday evening at 7pm BST when Brazil play Switzerland at Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don. It is the first chance we will get to see if this Brazilian side is all it's cracked up to be as Neymar and co look to start on a positive note.

Tite's side breezed through CONMEBOL qualification finishing top of the table with 41 points from 18 matches. That was 10 points clear of 2nd placed Uruguay and 15 points clear of the first team finishing outside the play-off positions. Comprehensive enough and the perfect way to respond after the embarrassment of the 7-1 semi-final defeat on home turf to Germany at the 2014 World Cup.

Switzerland took the scenic route to Russia during qualification. They ended up level on points with first placed Portugal but finished second on goal difference. Vladimir Petkovic's team then got through a two-legged play-off with Northern Ireland in controversial fashion with a dubious penalty decision giving them a 1-0 aggregate win.

A few people on this forum are tipping Switzerland to reach the 2nd Round at least. I'm not against that but their game against Serbia will be the decisive one. I think they will come up against a rampant Brazil that are on a mission to avenge the humiliation of four years ago.

As with all great winning sides, I don't think we will see a vintage Brazilian display here. Switzerland will be keen to choke the life out of their play and would certainly be happy with a draw. I feel Brazil will have enough in their attack and midfield creativity to find the gaps and seal a tight win. Also going for a cheeky Neymar any time scorer. Gabriel Jesus is worth a shout at the same odds too.

Total Goals Scored Over 2.5 @ 1.86 with Unibet

Neymar Anytime Scorer @ 1.90 with Bet365

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.