Serbia vs Switzerland — Preview

Match Preview

From the minute the draw was made in April, this game looked likely to decide the fate of these two teams. Serbia held out for over an hour against Brazil, but only had 41% of the ball and failed to record a shot on target in a 2-0 defeat. They enjoyed more possession against Cameroon, with 59% of the ball, but could only produce a 3-3 draw, in an open game that saw 13 shots on goal. The A-Team followed a narrow 1-0 win over Cameroon by holding out for even longer against Brazil than the Swiss did, before succumbing to an 83rd-minute Casemiro strike.

These two teams look quite well matched, with Switzerland ranked 15th in the FIFA Rankings, and The Eagles in 21st. Serbia has consistently played a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Dušan Tadić and Sergej Milinković-Savić playing behind Aleksandar Mitrović. Switzerland is likely to deploy its tried and tested 4-2-3-1 system with Xherdan Shaqiri pulling the strings as one of the three attacking midfielders behind Breel Embolo. At the last World Cup, Switzerland left it late to grab all three points in the only previous meeting between these two nations, when Shaqiri’s 90th-minute winner put them on the road to qualification. Another Swiss win would send them through to the knockout stages, and a victory would be enough for Serbia to qualify, if Cameroon fails to beat Brazil.

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