After the thoroughly deserving point they earned against World Cup favourites Brazil, it’s Serbia up next for Switzerland. Serbia got their campaign off to the perfect start against Costa Rica and the onus is on the Red Crusaders to force the issue with two points currently separating the sides.
Where and when: Kaliningrad Stadium – 22 June, kick-off 19:00
Where you can see Serbia vs. Switzerland: BBC
Last time: The upcoming clash will be the first time the countries have ever met.
|Over 2.5 goals in the match||6/4||Offer|
|Serbia to win 3-1||30/1||Offer|
|Dusan Tadic to score last||8/1||Offer|
Serbia v Switzerland Predictions and Preview
Serbia Head Coach Mladen Krstajić is expected to go with an unchanged line-up from the side that faced Costa Rica in Samara. The Eagles are predictably strong defensively, with former Chelsea legend Branislav Ivanovic still a force despite his advancing years. Ivanovic is a centre-half by trade, but just at ease at right-back and will be a threat going forward too.
On the other side is Roma man Aleksandar Kolarov, and the left footer will see plenty of the ball given his crossing and dead ball ability. The ex-Manchester City stalwart has already made his mark on the tournament, hitting a trademark free-kick that was the difference against Los Ticos.
Perhaps the star name in the squad is Lazio youngster Sergej Milinković-Savić. The 23-year-old had an outstanding club season, bagging double figures in all competitions and his form has caught the eye of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.
The powerful midfielder knows a good World Cup showing will almost certainly guarantee a big money move and his partnership with Aleksandar Mitrović will be crucial for The Eagles. On-loan Fulham striker Mitrovic has developed a newfound maturity under countryman Slaviša Jokanović and his goals played a huge part in The Cottagers returning to the Premier League.
Mitrovic recently hit a hat-trick for the national team in the friendly against Bolivia and the maverick forward is 7/2 to open proceedings on the night, while Serbia are 2/1 to triumph.
Opponents Switzerland will be relying on Xherdan Shaqiri to get them back on track. The opening defeat against the Seleção has magnified the Serbia clash and in the Stoke winger, Arsenal playmaker Granit Xhaka and Haris Seferović, big performances are required.
Despite the uphill task, all is not lost for Vladimir Petković’s group of 23. Switzerland recorded an impressive nine wins from 10 qualifying games, beating EURO 2016 champions Portugal 2-0 on the way. A victory for the Red Crusaders is available at 17/10.
One to watch for Serbia: Milinković-Savić is 10/3 to net anytime during the encounter and will be encouraged to get forward at every opportunity, with Nemanja Matic shielding the defence.
One to watch for Switzerland: Shaqiri is 9/2 in the same market and is capable of the spectacular. The diminutive wide man’s acrobatic effort against Poland at EURO 2016 was one of the goals of the tournament and Serbia must be on red alert even from distance.
Long shot: The tournament has thrown up some thrilling matches already and there is a good chance this trend continues with a number of talented performers on display. An exhilarating 3-3 final score is available at 110/1 and would solidify Serbia’s advantage over Switzerland going in to the last group game.