Serbia's World Cup 2022 Standings
Serbia complete Group E, which also includes Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Below you will find their current tournament standings, updated after every matchday.
Serbia's Odds To Win The World Cup
Serbia has a decent squad of players but will find it tough to make inroads in a strong Group E that features one of the best teams in the world. Brazil is almost certain to top their group, which is something they have achieved in the last nine consecutive tournaments, meaning that Serbia will be up against Switzerland and Costa Rica to jag the final spot.
Sports Interaction believes Serbia is a better chance of winning the tournament than the Costa Ricans, although they are still massive outsiders, priced at +13900. Your best bet is determining whether or not Serbia will make it to the Round of 16: you can get +115 if you believe the Serbs can progress, while -154 is on offer for them being eliminated at the first hurdle.
We believe Brazil and Switzerland will emerge from Group E and Serbia's match against Costa Rica in the early stages will determine which of the pair will finish third in the pool. There is simply not enough time for Mladen Krstajic to make an impact, and the squad lacks the quality to trouble the big teams in Russia.
Serbia's Squad & Key Players
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalized until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first, let's take a look at some of the most important players in the Serbian team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Nemanja Matic (Midfielder)
Originally a playmaker, Matic was converted into a defensive midfielder by Portuguese club Benfica, and this move has certainly brought out the best of the Serbian. He played a big role in Chelsea's Premier League title win in 2016/17, before reuniting with former boss Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. He has made 36 appearances for the national side since 2008 and is crucial to the Serbs defensive efforts.
Branislav Ivanovic (Defender)
Matic's former teammate was a rock for Chelsea, and although he will be 34 by the time everything kicks off in Russia, the now Zenit Saint Petersburg player will be critical to the chances of the Serbians. Ivanovic made 261 appearances for the English champions and was described by Jose Mourinho as one of the club's best-ever signings.
The national team captain has earned 100 caps and scored 12 goals in his Serbian career, and his big-match experience will be very useful in a squad that doesn't boast too much international expertise.
Aleksandar Kolarov (Defender)
Kolarov was one of Manchester City's best defenders over the last few years, yet he made the move to Roma in the Summer and it has proved to be one of the singings of the season. The Serbian has not lost any pace and his experience makes him one of the best wing-backs in the game. He has made 72 appearances for the Serbian national team and will be one of the first names on the team sheet in Russia.
The Coach - Mladen Krstajic
Krstajic is one of the youngest managers at the World Cup and has only just taken over the national team on a full-time basis. While his record as a coach is yet to be determined, it is likely he will utilize his defensive stars in a conservative formation, particularly since he is coming up against a potent Brazilian attacking side.
He should have no problem with defensive structures considering his pedigree; Krstajic was a solid defender in a career spanning nearly two decades, and he made over 440 senior appearances. The majority of his time was spent in Germany with Werder Bremen and Schalke 04, the latter of which he captained in his final season.
Serbia's World Cup 2022 Lineup
Serbia's latest international was a friendly played against South Korea on November 14th, 2017, while their last competitive match was the final World Cup qualifier against Georgia in October. The full lineup from that match was as follows.
Starting Lineup (3-2-2-3)
Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan) - Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Nikola Maksimovic (Napoli), Dusko Tosic (Besiktas) - Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Nemanja Gudelj (Tianjin Teda) - Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma) - Adem Ljajic (Torino), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Zoran Tadic (Partizan).
Reserves: Aleksandar Prijovic, Ivan Obradovic, Matija Nastasic, Luka Milivojevic, Filip Kostic, Stefan Mitrovic, Predrag Rajkovic, Mijat Gacinovic, Milos Veljkovic, Nemanja Maksimovic, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Nemanja Milunovic.
Serbia's World Cup History
Serbia's World Cup history goes all the way back to the inaugural tournament in 1930, although back then what we now know as Serbia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Two wins and a loss were enough to secure a fourth-place finish at the sixteen-team tournament, and that remains the best-ever finish by a Serbian / Yugoslavian team, which was equalled in the 1962 World Cup in Chile.
While Yugoslavia never appeared in a World Cup final, their record at the biggest sporting competition in the world was very consistent. In their first eight appearances, spanning sixty years between 1930 and 1990, Yugoslavia only finished lower than seventh-place on one occasion. Their quarter-final finish in the 1990 tournament in Italy was one of their best, and also their last before the republic was divided.
Appearing as Serbia and Montenegro for the first time in 1998, the Eagles managed to go undefeated through the group stage in France, beating Iran and the United States and drawing with Germany. Their run was ended in the Round of 16 after a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.
Eight years later in Germany, the Serbs lost all three of their matches. The Netherlands defeated them once again, while a 6-0 loss to Argentina ended any chance of the Eagles qualifying. This proved to be their worst performance at the tournament.
2010 marked the first and only appearance by Serbia as an independent nation, and again they failed to make it out of the group stage. Despite winning against a strong German side, losses to Ghana and Australia ensured they would be eliminated at the first hurdle for the second time in as many starts.
After missing the 2014 tournament, there is certainly an air of optimism in the Serbian ranks ahead of the 2018 World Cup. They qualified first in a tough group that contained the Republic of Ireland, Wales and Austria, losing just once in ten matches. It will be tough to qualify from a group that contains Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica, although the Serbs will back themselves to get the job done in June.