Serbia vs Switzerland - Preview - World Cup 2018

Serbia vs Switzerland 2018  World Cup Preview

Serbia head into their match against Switzerland on Friday oozing with confidence after collecting maximum points in their opener where they beat Costa Rica 1-0 while Switzerland are looking to build on their hard-earned point they managed in their 1-1 draw against Brazil.   

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FIFA World Cup
Serbia vs Switzerland    
Group E
Friday 22 June 
Kaliningrad Stadium   
20:00

To Win
Serbia 17/10
Draw 39/20
Switzerland 18/10

Serbia 

Serbia outclassed Costa Rica in their opener and had it not been for poor finishing, they’d have won the game by a huge margin. It took a brilliant free-kick by the captain, Aleksandar Kolarov to break the deadlock and win the match by a solitary goal. The opponents must be way of the threat the left footer possesses in set-pieces and crosses even though he’s defensively fallible. 

This is an underrated team with experienced players such as Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic. On their day, this team can beat anyone, especially if they can be more clinical in front of goal. Matic must be grateful that his confrontation with a member of the Costa Rica coaching staff wasn’t enough to warrant punishment because he could have missed this vital matchup. 

Lazio’s 23-year old midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic- Savic won the Man of the Match award in the opener and he is expected to continue shining with the hope of aiding the much-speculated move to Manchester United.   

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Switzerland

Switzerland surprised everyone when they produced a scintillating performance in the second half of their opener against Brazil to come back from 1-0 down and earn a hard-fought point. Steven Zuber rose high to head home the equaliser which left their opponents frustrated and they thereafter defended their box well even though Brazil did find some half chances due to their superior quality. 

Valon Behrami also displayed signs of a great man-marker as he contained Neymar for the better part of the game and I’m expecting him to be tasked with neutralising Tadic in the upcoming match. 

Switzerland sit back and look to utilise the skill and pace of Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka’s long range shots to quickly break away as soon as they regain possession. It will be very interesting to see how they approach this one against a cautious team like Serbia. 

Goalkeeper, Yann Sommer’s performance is also worth eulogising as he stood firm whenever he was called upon.

Probable line-ups:
Serbia: 4-5-1 
Stojkovic; Tosic, Ivanovic, Kolarov, Milenkovic; Milivojevic, Tadic, Milinkovic-Savic, Matic, Ljajic; Mitrovic.

Switzerland: 4-2-3-1 
Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Behrami, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Zuber; Seferovic

Prediction: Both Teams to Score (21/20) 
Both teams are playing good football and they have quality players. I’m not risking calling a winner here but taking into account the quality they possess, I’ll back both sets of players to find the back of the net. 

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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