Brazil vs. Serbia Group E 2018 World Cup Betting Analysis
- When: Wednesday, 2 PM ET
- Where: Spartak Stadium, Moscow
- TV/Stream: Fox / Fox Sports Go
- 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: Brazil -185 / Serbia +500 / Draw +295 (Total 2.5)
Why Bet on Brazil?
- Confederation: CONMEBOL
- Head coach: Tite
- Captain: Various
- FIFA Ranking: 2
- World Cup Appearances: 21
Brazil opened with a 1-1 draw vs. Switzerland and then beat Costa Rica 2-0, scoring both goals in second-half stoppage time. Philippe Coutinho had the first at 90+1 and then Neymar added another at 90+6. Neymar was at the heart of the game throughout, including winning a penalty which was sensationally overturned by VAR and at full time he was in tears, presumably with relief that Brazil had avoided a damaging result. Brazil was forced into one change to their line-up because of an injury to right-back Danilo – he had a thigh problem.
It was Brazil’s first World Cup victory thanks to a goal scored in the 90th minute. Brazil’s second goal was timed at 96:49 – the latest recorded 90th-minute goal in a World Cup match since 1966.
Brazil’s Neymar has been fouled 14 times so far in the 2018 World Cup, more than any other player. Neymar has been involved in 18 goals in his last 17 appearances for Brazil (10 goals, 8 assists). Coutinho has been directly involved in four goals in his last four games for Brazil (3 goals, 1 assist), as many as in his previous 14 combined for the national side.
Brazil will be shorthanded for this match as Douglas Costa and Danilo are ruled out due to injury. They won’t even travel to Moscow. Danilo, who plays for Manchester City, is still recovering from a thigh problem he picked up in training. Meanwhile, Juventus’ Costa suffered a hamstring problem following Friday’s 2-0 win over Costa Rica.
“We are optimistic about his participation in the competition, depending on our performance at the World Cup. We are sparing no effort so can he still help us,” Brazil’s team doctor said of Danilo. “The case that is most worrying is Douglas Costa’s, but Danilo’s is not much different, except that is a less important one, secondary muscle, so there’s a little better expectation with respect to him.”
Paulinho has also not been his strong self and the midfielder could lose his place in the starting lineup. Brazil coach Tite didn’t offer many answers. His options include midfielders Fernandinho and Renato Augusto, but he could play strikers Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino together. If he went with that lineup, Coutinho would replace Paulinho.
Brazil has not yet lived up to their pre-tournament favorites hype so far. Full-back Fagner believes the pressure on his team is a result of their own spectacular showing leading up to the tournament, a period in which they lost only one match in 21, scoring 47 goals and conceding just five.
“I believe that because of all we did in the qualifiers and friendlies there is a huge expectation that we win our games,” Fagner said.
The match against Serbia will be Brazil’s 24th with Tite as their coach. The team’s record during that time is impressive: 18 wins, four draws and one loss, with 50 goals scored and only six against.
Brazil has only managed one victory in their last seven World Cup games against European opposition (D2 L4) – a 3-1 win against Croatia in 2014.
- 3-João Miranda
- 2-Thiago Silva
- 11-Philippe Coutinho
- 9-Gabriel Jesus
Why Bet on Serbia?
- Confederation: UEFA
- Head coach: Mladen Krstajić
- Captain: Aleksandar Kolarov
- FIFA Ranking: 34
- World Cup Appearances: 12
Serbia was fastest out of the traps and went ahead through Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header (5) but could have been further ahead before the break as Dusan Tadic and Dusko Tosic went close. Serbia should have gone into half-time 2-0 up as Tosic mistimed his jump, unmarked in the six-yard box from a Tadic corner before Tadic himself saw a fine long-range effort fly inches over.
Mitrovic has been directly involved in 15 goals in his last 15 starts for Serbia (13 goals, 2 assists). As an independent nation, Serbia has lost each of the six World Cup matches in which they have conceded.
“Honestly, why wouldn’t we beat Brazil? I think there is much more pressure on them in this match. If we can stay in the game until the latter stages, I think our chances are even greater,” Mitrovic said.
From that 2015 FIFA U-20 squad that lost the final against Serbia, Brazil has only one player in their line-up right now: Gabriel Jesus.
Yugoslavia included, Serbia and Brazil have met four times at the World Cup. Their head-to-head record is perfectly balanced with one win each and two draws. Serbia and Brazil’s first ever World Cup appearance was in a match against each other in 1930 – Yugoslavia running out 2-1 winners. This will be the second meeting between Serbia and Brazil with the former as an independent nation – their first encounter was in a friendly in June 2014, Brazil winning 1-0.
The Brazilian players aren’t too sure how Serbia will approach Wednesday’s match. Given their need for a positive result, one would guess they’ll be aggressive from the start. Fagner, however, doesn’t believe that. “I expect them to be a bit cautious in the beginning,” he said.
- 1-V. Stojković
- 3-D. Tošić
- 6-B. Ivanović
- 11-A. Kolarov
- 15-N. Milenković
- 21-N. Matić
- 10-D. Tadić
- 4-L. Milivojević
- 17-F. Kostić
- 20-S. Milinković-Savić
- 9-A. Mitrović