By Anis Bazza
Last Updated: 22nd June 2018
Switzerland complained of a lack of “recognition and pity ” after their hard-fought 1-1 draw with Brazil. Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic bemoaned after the game: “I hope that people will take notice of us and take us seriously.”
Swiss midfielder Steven Zuber appeared to nudge Miranda for his goal while Neymar sustained a record-high 11 fouls which he was sure to make the most out of. Neymar and Brazil appeared to pull a PR stunt when the forward limped out of training on Tuesday and issued a statement through the national team doctor condemning the Swiss and match referees.
Match-betting – Switzerland to win to nil @ 29/20
The unfazed Switzerland’s opponents are a Serbia side looking to build on their victory over Costa Rica. Former Manchester City defender Aleksander Kolarov scored a sweet free-kick that game as highly coveted Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinković-Savić impressed in the middle of the park.
A win for the Serbs would send them straight through to the last 16 for the first time since 1998. But Serbia have lost five of their last six group games and this will be the first time they will face Switzerland as an independent country (previously Yugoslavia).
Goal-scorer – Xherdan Shaqiri to score from outside the area is 10/1
Shaqiri’s direct involvement in six of Switzerland’s last seven goals at major tournaments (four goals and two assists) means the Swiss will hope he can be the catalyst against a rigid Serbia team.
He provided the spark against the Brazil – as he often does for his lowly team-mates – but it was Steven Zuber who equalised against Brazil, his sixth goal involvement for Switzerland (four goals, two assists, in his last six international starts). Zuber is 10/1 to score first against Serbia.
Correct score – A 1-1 draw @ 9/2
Swiss midfielder Valo Behrami, who is playing at his fourth World Cup, should be fit to play after sustaining a muscle injury. Behrami made his World Cup debut in 2006 and has 80 caps for the Swiss.
Stephan Lichtsteiner could become the player with the most World Cup appearances for Switzerland if he plays in this match – he drew level with Charles Antenen on eight matches in the opening game against Brazil.
Switzerland have only suffered defeat once in their last 23 games – an October 2017 World Cup qualifier defeat to Portugal.
Aeksander Mitrovic was in hot form for Serbia prior to the World Cup, straight off the back of his successful loan at Fulham. The 23-year old striker has 14 goals in his last 17 starts for Serbia and him to score and Serbia to win is now betting at 4/1.
Anis grew up supporting Manchester City but found joy and solace across Europe’s major football leagues. Increasingly passionate about NBA, he is interested in and has written extensively about many different aspects of sport across the years, previously working at Sky Sports News and Sport360 newspaper in Dubai. He studied Sport Journalism at University but spent a large portion of his academic years building City Watch instead - the largest independent Manchester City Twitter account and website.