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Nic Ladds 22nd Jun 2010 - 12:06

Serbia to smash the Socceroos

Serbia have a great chance of making out of Group D and pile the misery on their opponents as they take on Australia in Nelspuit.

After the shocks of the opening rounds of matches, the World Cup seems to have settled and in recent matches we have seen the cream rise to the top.

That is why I can see nothing other than a comprehensive Serbian victory over the Socceroos today.

Serbia (17/20) were a little unlucky to come out with nothing in their first match against Ghana, only losing 1-0 to a late Gyan penalty. They were vastly improved in their second match and picked up one of the results on the tournament, beating the impressive Germans 1-0.

Australia (3/1) have been pretty dismal so far, they were hit for four in their opening match against the aforementioned Germans and then somehow holding on for a point in a 1-1 draw with Ghana.

Pim Verbeek's point blank refusal to take more strikers has massively backfired for the Australians and now they are paying for it. The only strikers they have are Roeselare's Rukavytsya, AZ Alkmaar's Holman and Nagoya Grampus Eight's Kennedy.

They are hardly strikers worthy of a World Cup squad and, although as a Middlesbrough fan I may be biased, Verbeek's decision to leave out Scott McDonald seems ridiculous.

With Cahill suspended for the second match and now Kewell suspended for the final group match, the depth in the Australian squad is nowhere near enough to cope with Serbia.

When you compare their squad with Serbia's it is hard to foresee any other outcome than a big defeat for the Aussies. Serbia have Chelsea (Branislav Ivanovic) and Manchester United (Nemanja Vidic) players in defence, an Inter Milan (Dejan Stankovic) and ex-Man Utd player (Zoran Tosic) in midfield and two great forwards from Ajax (Marko Pantelic) and Birmingham (Nikola Zigic).

Should Serbia comply and deliver a win, depending on the result between Germany and Ghana, they could put themselves right in the mix for either first or second place.

Serbia are pretty solid at the back, keeping clean sheets in six of their last ten matches. With the lack of firepower already highlighted in Australia's squad I think the 21/20 on Serbia to keep a clean sheet in this match is a great price.

Australia are historically pretty poor against European sides in the World Cup. Not only are they without a win in five World Cup games in general, they have lost four out their last five matches against European sides without scoring a single goal.

The more you look in to this match, anything other than a comprehensive win for the Serbians should really go down among the shocks of this tournament.

My personal bet on this match, at what I think is a massive price, is on the match handicaps. Serbia -1 goal is available at 5/2, a huge price considering the facts.

If you prefer a correct score bet I think the 7/1 on Serbia 2-0 is the way to go. Serbia may not be the highest scoring side in the World Cup but against such a weak and demoralised side, they will certainly fancy their chances in this match.



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