- Serbia v Switzerland
- Friday, December 2, 2022, 14:00 ET
- At Stadium 975, Doha
Serbia needs a win to go through to the World Cup Round of 16 but they are up against tough opponents in Switzerland, an opponent from the last World Cup.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that Serbia is the favorite with bettors to win this game, possibly due to the fact that it needs the win whereas Switzerland can progress with a draw. Serbia is rated a +155 chance by the bookies, with Switzerland available between +180 and +190 and the draw priced up at between +230 and +240
|Serbia v Switzerland|
World Cup Group G Betting Briefing
World Cup Group G has largely run to form, with the only exception being Serbia’s entertaining draw against Cameroon, which has left it at the bottom of the table going into the final round of fixtures.
By contrast, Switzerland emerged with a vital 1-0 win from its match against Cameroon, and that is enough to put it in the driving seat ahead of this game. A draw here will almost certainly be enough for Switzerland to progress, the only danger being an unlikely two-goal Cameroon victory against Brazil.
Assuming that Cameroon doesn’t beat Brazil, a win in this game would be enough to take Serbia through, at the expense of Switzerland, to set up a likely Round of 16 clash with Portugal – a familiar foe from the UEFA Qualifying Tournament. Alternatively, Switzerland’s players know that if they win this game, then they will go through, regardless of what happens in the other match.
Serbia’s Defense is a Problem
Dragan Stojkovic’s renovation of Serbia’s international team has been largely impressive, but decisions he has had to take are now coming back to haunt him.
Previous Serbian teams, particularly the lineup that took part in the 2018 tournament, were solid and physical without offering much creativity. Stojkovic has been largely successful in changing that, turning Serbia into a team that can be joyful to watch. Against Cameroon, Serbia came back from 1-0 down to lead 3-1 thanks to some free-flowing, inventive soccer that was a world away from their 2018 style.
Unfortunately, in order to make that style of soccer possible, Stojkovic has had to refresh the defense, bringing in players who are definitely more comfortable on the ball and more compatible with his style of play, but who simply don’t offer the same intimidating presence as their predecessors.
Not being able to hold out against Brazil is excusable, but collapsing from 3-1 up to finish 3-3 against Cameroon was not, and it has left Serbia’s World Cup dangling by a thread. Serbia’s defense is a problem and Stojkovic needs to find a way to fix it if his team is to progress.
Switzerland Aiming for a Repeat
Four years ago, Switzerland came out of a Group that included Brazil and Serbia, finishing second behind the South Americans and this year is aiming for a repeat.
Crucial to that qualification last time was a last-minute winner against Serbia. This time, Switzerland doesn’t need to win to go through as a draw would almost certainly be enough, but it would give the team some momentum going into the Round of 16.
Neat, organized, solid: these are the kind of adjectives used most often about Switzerland. It has some talented individuals, most notably Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka in midfield, but very little cutting edge up front, which limits its potential.
Switzerland’s two games so far have produced a total of two goals, one for and one against, and that solidity may be enough to send it through, but head coach Murat Yakin would surely prefer a win and a few goals here, to give his players confidence for the challenge ahead.
World Cup Group G Match Betting
The sometimes bad-tempered clash between these teams at the last World Cup was a gripping contest and had a thrilling finish. Given the importance of this game, we can probably expect more of the same.
Serbia’s attacking dynamism poses a significant threat and if Switzerland goes into this game aiming to sit back and earn a draw, that could be a serious mistake.
Fortunately for neutral fans watching this game, that seems unlikely. Xhaka and Shaqiri, the captain and vice-captain for Switzerland, are originally Albanian. There was a notable edge to their celebrations and their efforts against Serbia in 2018, and given that the current Serbian team has already courted controversy at this tournament by displaying a contentious flag, both Swiss players will be fully motivated.
In fact, given Serbia’s weak backline, attack is likely to be the best form of defense for Switzerland. The result should be plenty of goals and Over 2.5 looks a good pick in the betting markets.