Serbia vs. Brazil
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 27, 2018, 2:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Brazil -270 / Draw +378 / Serbia +818 -- Over/Under: 2.5
We have high stakes in Group E World Cup action from the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow, when Brazil takes on Serbia on Wednesday.
Brazil comes into this match looking to clinch their spot in the round of 16, sitting atop group E with 4 points following a dicey 2-0 win over Costa Rica in their last outing. Brazil dominated the run of play, but couldn’t infiltrate the Costa Rican goal for the first 75 minutes of the match, leaving us with a scoreless draw looming. However, Neymar appeared to win a penalty in the 77th minute, but it was overturned thanks to video review showing that he in fact simulated a poor challenge, leading to a yellow card from referee Bjorn Kuipers. In the opening minute of stoppage time, Philippe Coutinho broke the deadlock with a superb team goal from Brazil, followed by Neymar doubling the advantage in the last minute of stoppage time. Brazil owned 69% of the possession in the match, outshooting Costa Rica 23-4 and 9-0 in regards to shots on target.
Serbia will be looking for a big performance from their team after failing to punch their ticket to the knockout rounds with a 2-1 loss to Switzerland on Friday, sitting at 3 points in 3rd place after two games. Aleksandar Mitrovic gave Serbia the lead just 5 minutes into the match and it stayed that way until the 52nd minute when Granit Xhaka equalized for the Swiss with a strong first time shot from the edge of the 18-yard box. We looked poised for a draw in this match as well, but Xherdan Shaqiri put together a strong counter attack and slipped the ball past the Serbian goalkeeper to give Switzerland all 3 points. Serbia were outplayed statistically by Switzerland, being out possessed 58%-42%, and outshot 20-12 and 5-3 in terms of shots on goal.
The lone meeting between these two sides came in an friendly match in 2014 that ended in a 1-0 Brazil victory.
On the surface, if you looked at Brazil’s score line, you would think it was business as usual and that they had no trouble dealing with Costa Rica. However as we all know now, that wasn’t the case as Brazil have made it look like this is much harder for themselves than it should probably be. This is an awesome price for Serbia given the circumstances, but if we are being realistic, this is just as much of a must-win for Brazil as it is Serbia, and side-by-side, Brazil have the much more talented group. Brazil not making it to the knockout rounds would be a disappointment of colossal proportions, and knowing that, I think Brazil puts out a strong effort and gets the win to book their spot in the round of 16.