9th Jun 2018 | World Cup
Group E Shakedown
The likely need to avoid Germany in the next round should keep Brazil focussed but Serbia can follow them into the knockout phase.
Another group where I think the bookies have things slightly wrong is Group E. They have Brazil as the overwhelming favourites - no arguments there - but the European sides are probably the wrong way round in the betting.
Switzerland are fancied to come 2nd but they will surely be playing catch-up on Serbia after the opening round of matches. The Swiss open against Brazil while Serbia entertain Costa Rica who look like the weakest team.
The defining match will surely be when the European sides clash in Kaliningrad and I think momentum and better players will probably favour Serbia.
They have all the ingredients needed to make an impact on this tournament. There is experience in defence with the likes of Kolarov and Ivanovic, steel and quality in midfield with Matic, Milivojevic and Tadic, and a bang-in-form wildcard up front in the shape of Mitrovic.
There is even a chance that Neymar and co will be happy with a draw when Serbia play them last but with Germany to avoid in the last 16 back Brazil/Serbia to come 1st/2nd as a straight forecast at best odds of 12/5 with BetFair.
Odds correct at time of publishing: 15:33 9th Jun, 2018 but subject to change