- Brazil v Serbia
- Thursday, November 24, 2022, 14:00 ET
- At the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Brazil’s awesome array of attacking talents, combined with a solid defense make them the obvious betting pick to win the opening game of Group G.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks it is no surprise to see that bettors are heavily favoring Brazil for this opening game. The World Cup favorites are rated as short as -240 with some sportsbooks, while Serbia are considered a +720 chance, with the draw rated at around +380.
|Brazil v Serbia|
World Cup Group G Betting Briefing
World Cup Group G may not qualify as the ultimate ‘Group of Death’ this year, as many fans will regard Group E, which features Spain and Germany, as the toughest of the lot, but Group G looks very tough.
Brazil are the obvious favorites, and will be expecting to win the section, but they won’t have it easy against two mid-ranking European opponents and a solid Cameroon side. Brazil are ranked number one in the world by FIFA, but both Serbia and Switzerland are around the top 20 and both have recent high profile tournament experience, notably in the 2018 World Cup when Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland were also drawn together in the same Group.
Cameroon, also, cannot be discounted. They may be the lowest-ranked team in the Group, but they have a long World Cup history and will relish the opportunity to cause an upset.
Brazil Aiming to End Long Wait
Brazil hasn’t won the World Cup since 2002. For most nations that would be no big deal, but to Brazilian fans, that is an eternity. The five-time winners have failed to win the trophy on four consecutive occasions and another failure here would equal their longest losing run, between the 1970 and 1994 tournaments.
This time, though, they have the best squad and best chance of winning the competition since 2002. They may have had home advantage in 2014, but this collection of players is far better than the 2014 version.
Their forward ranks include at least two world-class front lines. Neymar is still the star of the show, but he has much more support in 2022, including Vinicius Jr, Rapinho, Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus, Anthony, Rodrygo and Gabriel Martinelli. The midfield includes the experience of Casemiro, Fabinho and Fred and the dynamism of Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes, while defensively, Brazil can call on the goalkeepers of Liverpool and Manchester City and world-class defenders Dani Alves and Thiago Silva. This is a squad strong in all areas and determined to end Brazil’s long World Cup wait.
Transformed Serbia are Fragile but Dangerous
The Serbian team that takes on Brazil in Qatar will be radically different to the lineup we saw four years ago. Under Dragan Stojkovic, Serbia have ditched the ugly, aggressive style, rebuilding without veteran defenders Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandr Kolarov with a new look three-man back line.
This is a team focused almost exclusively on attack, and their transformed approach makes them dangerous opponents. Up front, the prolific Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic make a strong pairing and they are supported by creative playmaker Dusan Tadic and a pair of attacking wingbacks in Filip Kostic and Andrija Zivkovic who can stretch the play and deliver crosses.
That level of attacking firepower, unfortunately, is not supported by a similar quality in defense. While the shift to a younger, more flexible defensive line has enabled Stojkovic to develop a more progressive style of play, there has been a marked decline in the team’s defensive ability, which is likely to leave them vulnerable against the better teams in the tournament, including Brazil.
World Cup Group G Match Betting
Four years ago, Brazil met Serbia in the final round of World Cup Group games and emerged with a 2-0 victory, which confirmed Serbia’s exit from the tournament.
This is a very different Serbian line-up, and certainly offers more of a threat going forwards than the 2018 version. But the Brazilian team is also stronger than it was four years ago. The emergence of so many high-quality forwards means that there is less pressure on Neymar and more space for him to operate, which is worrying for Brazil’s opponents.
Serbia are a big price in the match betting markets and will not expect to get anything out of this game, so it is likely that they will approach it on the front foot. Defensively they are unlikely to be able to contain Brazil, and the result is likely to be a high-scoring game, with Brazil sure to win a battle of the forwards.