World Cup 2018: Brazil vs Serbia - preview, team news, predicted XI, head to head and key stats
It's another of those matches where a single point could carry both the teams into the knockout stages of the tournament but a defeat for either will result in them being knocked out. The last round of matches for Group E will see 5-time champions taking on Serbia with winners taking the top spot in the group.
5-time champions may have been undefeated so far but they sure have one of the big disappointment so far at the World Cup. Brazil started off their World Cup campaign with an unimpressive 1-1 draw against Switzerland which saw Barcelona man Philippe Coutinho scoring his first ever World Cup goal in his first ever World Cup match for Brazil. The second round saw Brazil facing off a resolute Costa Rican defence whose hard work almost paid off till Philippe Coutinho scored his second goal in as many matches in the World Cup to give Brazil the lead in the 1st minute of injury time in the second half. Neymar then made his first goal after scoring the 2nd and final goal for Brazil in 5th min of injury in the second half to give all 3 points to the South American's. A victory in the next match will see Brazil topping Group E, with a potential mouth-watering Round of 16 clash between Brazil and Germany in the cards.
Serbia started off their World Cup campaign with a victory over Costa Rica courtesy of an Aleksandar Kolarov special. In one of the most controversial match in the World Cup so far Serbia slumped to a 2-1 victory against Switzerland after taking the lead in the first half. The victory for Switzerland was marred by the double eagle celebration by their goal scores Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka. A victory will see Serbia progressing into the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first in their history (since the formation of Serbia).
Brazillian coach Tete is without winger Douglas Costa(hamstring) and fullback Danilo (thigh problem) after they suffered injuries. Tete is expected to make the same line-up as the previous match.
Serbian coach Mladen Krstajic is expected to stick with his first-choice side, with 6 of his players in the books Krstajic will hoping that none of his players will be suspended for the potential Round of 16 clash
Brazil Predicted XI: Alisson, Fagner, Miranda, Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Casemiro, Paulinho, Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Neymar; Gabriel Jesus
Serbia Predicted XI: Vladimir Stojkovic, Antonio Rukavina, Branislav Ivanovic, Dusko Tosic, Aleksandar Kolarov; Nemanja Matic, Luka Milivojevic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Dusan Tadic, Filip Kostic, Aleksandar Mitrovic
Head to head stats
This will be the second time Serbia (after being Independent) will facing Brazil after the latter won their only previous encounter 1-0 in 2014.
Yugoslavia included, Serbia and Brazil have met 4 times in the World Cup with both teams winning a game each and drawing the other 2. This will be the 20th time (including Yugoslavia) Serbia will be facing Brazil after winning just 2 and losing 10 in their previous encounters.
Some stats to look forward to in this encounter
Serbia has lost each of their 6 World Cup matches in which they have conceded (As an independent nation).
Victory for Serbia will see them qualifying into the knockout stages for the very first time after being an independent nation.
Brazil has managed only 1 victory in their previous 7 matches against European opponents in the World Cup.
Brazil has just managed 1 shot on target in the first half of their previous 3 World Cup matches.
Neymar has scored 56 goals for his country and is 3rd in the list of all-time Brazilian goal scorers with only Ronaldo and Pele in front of him.
Brazil vs Serbia, Group E:
Match Date: 27 June 2018, Wednesday
Match Timing: 23:30 IST
Match Venue: Otkritie Arena, Moscow, Russia