World Cup 2018 Serbia Preview & Predictions

27th April 2018 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

Serbia head to Russia in the summer to take part in what will be their second World Cup. Four years ago they made their debut as just Serbia and they will be hoping to turn up and go one better this time around after having failed to get out of the group stage on their previous attempt.

How Serbia qualified

It was a strong and composed qualification campaign by Serbia in a competitive group. They were in a group along with Ireland, Wales and Austria, so Serbia had some work to do there to get out of it. But they did just that by winning the group thanks to a W6 D3 L1 record. It was enough to give them a two-point advantage over Ireland and the real crunch moment in the qualification came when they took a 1-0 win in Dublin against the Irish in their eighth game of the campaign. Their sole defeat came against Austria.

Serbia handled themselves really well and they scored at least two goals in six of their ten qualification matches, totalling 20 for the campaign. Aleksandar Mitrović ended up being the group’s top scorer with a six goals. So there weren’t any real scares along the way, but while they did hold their own, maybe the fact that they were in a group where the other main contenders were taking points off of each other, helped them out in the end. It matters not, they got the job done and it’s off to the World Cup.

World Cup 2018 Group Stage

Four years ago Serbia had to go up against Germany in the group stage. This time around it is Brazil. That’s obviously the stinker of the matches that they will play, but that’s not until their final group game so they have a chance to work themselves into the event. Serbia opens their account on June 17th against Costa Rica and you would have to imagine that the Europeans will be collecting maximum points from that one. That would set them up nicely for what will be a tougher second match.

It is an all European affair for Serbia as they face Switzerland. That is going to be a hugely interesting game because if the Swiss lose their opener against Brazil, they are going to be desperate for the points. That will be the first ever competitive match between the two UEFA sides as well and there is going to be a lot at stake in that fixture. Looking ahead that probably would be the decider to see who follows group favourites Brazil through to the next round. Switzerland are the 8/5 favourites at bet365* (betting odds taken on April 25th, 2018 at 2:46 a.m.) to win the game against Serbia.

Then the Serbians will be rounding off their campaign against Brazil, which they are naturally going to be underdogs for as well. This is all Group E action at the 2018 World Cup where Serbia are 11/8 third favourites* (betting odds taken on April 25th, 2018 at 2:46 a.m.) behind Brazil and Switzerland to qualify. Their progress really is all going to hinge on that game against the Swiss and they are going to need their experienced and their top quality players like Mitrovic, Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanović and Aleksandar Kolarov to bring their A-games.

2018 World Cup Odds*

Brazil 4/1, Germany 9/2, France 13/2, Spain 6/1, Argentina 9/1, Belgium 11/1, England 18/1, Portugal 25/1, Uruguay 33/1, Croatia 33/1, Colombia 40/1, Poland 50/1, bar 100/1* (betting odds taken at 7.30 p.m. on April 24th, 2018)

Serbia World Cup History

So there is a chequered history at the World Cup for the nation which started out with an appearance in the inaugural 1930 tournament as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. They finished fourth on that debut but they didn’t make it back to the following two tournaments. Between the 1950 and 1990 events inclusive, they put in seven World Cup appearances as SFR Yugoslavia and from all of that they reached the quarter finals three times, the most recent being at Italia ‘90.

There was a round of sixteen effort at France ’98 as the FR Yugoslavia after missing USA ‘94 because of suspension. Their next appearance at the world cup then came as Serbia and Montenegro at Germany 2006. It was not a successful appearance tough as they lost all three games, scoring two goals and conceding ten. That was their worst ever performance at a World Cup. They were back in 2010 in South Africa where they again went home at the group stage and that was their first tournament as just Serbia.

They failed to qualify for Brazil 2014. Their overall World Cup record in all guises reads W17 D8 L18. As just Serbia, from their 2010 appearance, it is W1 L2.

Serbia Predictions

They have some experience and quality in their ranks from young Fulham striker Mitrovic through to Ivanovic and Kolarov at the back. So there is a pretty good blend there and they are going to be in the hunt, simply by virtue of themselves and Switzerland both likely beating Costa Rica and both likley losing against Brazil. It could just be that one straight duel between the two Europeans in Group E. At the end of the day it may just be the Swiss who have the edge over them and a Group stage elimination for 8/11 odds is the most appealing option* (betting odds taken at 7.30 p.m. on April 24th, 2018)



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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!




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