As is often the case when two European nations clash, there is very little to split these teams, and one feels that this may be the match that determines who qualifies for the second round along with group favourites Brazil.
Serbia come into the game having played Costa Rica in their first match, and their last minute goal means they will progress with a win against the Swiss regardless of their result against Brazil.
Meanwhile Switzerland enter this game after facing Brazil, and have a potentially downhill run to the group stage, especially after securing a crucial point against the five-time champions. The World Cup is certainly a tightrope, and the odds on each side here describe just how close this game will be.
The odds are almost identical for all three result here. Serbia enter as slight outsiders, priced at +180, while the draw is available at +197 and Switzerland can be obtained at +175. So how do we split the teams?
We expect to see a typically defensive display from the Swiss team, similar to what was on display in their play-off against Northern Ireland. You could say Switzerland were lucky to progress from that tie, although the nation’s ability to defend will be crucial against their European opponents, who are also known to produce fantastic defensive players (Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic is one example).
Serbia have enough creative attacking players to crack the Swiss defence, although the key to this matchup may lie in set pieces. Keylor Navas was almost unbeatable for Costa Rica against the Serbs in their opener but could do nothing about Aleksandar Kolorov’s sublime free kick. With so much height in the lineup, this could also be Serbia’s best chance.
At the end of the day, both teams did well to make it to the World Cup, but Switzerland’s pedigree is certainly worth noting. This will be the side’s fourth consecutive tournament, and their record over the last 12 years is much better than that of the Serbs. For that reason, we are looking at a win to the Swiss side here, in what will most likely be a low-scoring match.
Our prediction is a 1-0 win to Switzerland.