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Group E | Serbia Vs Switzerland: Key Players Who Might Effect The Game As Serbia Look To Create History And Starting XI

Serbia Vs Switzerland, FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia

Group E Match: Serbia vs Switzerland

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Time: 11:30 pm(IST),     Place: Kaliningrad Stadium,     Live Telecast(India): Sony Select 1 and Sony Select 2

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Ranked 4th in FIFA rankings, Switzerland held Group E favorites Brazil to a 1-1 draw in their opening match and Serbia 1-0 victory over Costa Rica has made Group E far more interesting.

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Group leaders Serbia will book a place for the knock-out round if they beat Switzerland in tonight’s Serbia Vs Switzerland match in Kaliningrad. Serbia are benefited leaders of Group E after former Manchester City full-back Kolorov scored a stunning free-kick against Costa Rica in round of group stage matches.

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Switzerland and Brazil stand behind Serbia with one point from their opening match which saw Zuber cancelling out Coutinho’s super strike. Both Switzerland and Brazil are playing can finish above Serbia after the second round if they win their respective fixtures today in Brazil Vs Costa Rica and Serbia Vs Switzerland.

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Head-To-Head:

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This will the first meeting between Serbia and Switzerland in a FIFA World Cup. However, before Serbian Independence, they met once in the 1950 World Cup Group stages where Serbia(formerly Yugoslavia) beat Switzerland by 3-0 margin.

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Serbia:

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Serbia has never reached the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup as an Independent Nation and their 1-0 victory against Costa Rica in the first round was their second win in FIFA World Cup history. They previously recorded victory was in 2010 World Cup when they defeated Germany. It remains to be seen whether they will recreate history in tonight’s Serbia vs Switzerland.

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Serbia will be patient though knowing both their remaining fixtures are against teams ranked 6th(Switzerland) and 4th(Brazil) in world rankings. Creativity from midfield will be the key for Serbia against the Swiss. Milinkovic-Savic and Manchester United’s midfielder Nemanja Matic will start again in midfield alongside Milivojevic.

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Kostic may come in for Southampton’s Dusan Tadic on the right-wing while Adem Ljajic may continue on the other wing to support lone-striker Mitrovic. Meanwhile, Serbian defense who kept a clean sheet against Costa Rica will see no unnecessary changes from manager Mladen Krstajic, who is managing his first team as the head coach.

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Key Players:

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Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio, Attacking Midfielder)

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Developing into a big name player status, Savic will hold the key for Serbia in midfield if they are to progress to the knock-out stages in Russia. Lazio attacking midfielder has made a name for himself in Europe with his creative performances in the previous two seasons for Lazio.

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He is already amidst a mega transfer saga with clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid, with both ready to pay more than they did for their previous highest bids. If he delivers Serbia beyond the first knock-out rounds, then his move to bigger club is a certainty. Although he had an average first FIFA World Cup 2018 match against Costa Rica, he and his team will be hopeful for likewise performances he gave for his club this season.

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Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United, Striker)

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Although, this might not be a high profile name when it comes to ‘key players to watch-out’ names for big tournaments, but surprisingly the Newcastle United striker has already scored 16 goals for his country at just the age of 23 and this is enough for him to make this column. A complete striker who helped Serbia during the qualifying rounds with 5 goals, which are is more than any other Serbian player will be leading the front-line again in tonight’s Serbia Vs Switzerland.

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Had a successful loan season at Fulham netting 12 goals but was not able to score in the opening match. Aleksandr Mitrovic will be eager to score his first FIFA World Cup goal against Switzerland.

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Predicted Line-Up:

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Serbia Vs Switzerland, FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia
Predicted Lineup For Serbia

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Switzerland:

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Ranked 6th in FIFA rankings, Switzerland are ready to live up to their world ranking status as they held tournament favourites Brazil to a 1-1 draw in their opening match. Ranked so highly due to their current form but still do not have in them to go beyond the Round of 16. Meanwhile, the Swiss will look to break the general consensus by winning tonight’s Serbia Vs Switzerland clash.

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Switzerland lost just one game during their qualifying rounds in an away game against Portugal, whom they did beat at home. Keeping the record in mind of the recent friendlies which saw them winning all their matches without conceding except against European giants Spain. But still they held Spain to a 1-1 draw with a late equalizer from Ricardo Rodriguez. However, their previous records in FIFA World Cups is not all that disappointing having reached the Quarter-finals three times in their footballing history.

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Surely with their current form and ranking, they will be eager to match the above record again. Having already played against group favorites Brazil with positive draw, remaining fixtures against Serbia and Costa Rica will not be that hard for them. One more win and another draw will be enough for them to secure first knock-out round.

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Vladimir Petkovic is unlikely to make any changes to the side which was brilliant against Brazil. Last match goal scorer Steven Zuber is in great form and will play a key role again from the left wing for his nation. Team’s main man Xherdan Shaqiri will be playing from the right-wing to support forward Haris Seferovic.

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Arsenal ace Granit Xhaka will operate from deep midfield alongside impressive Valon Behrami who earlier had some fitness issue from their last match. The highly impressive and reliable defense will remain same with fullbacks Ricardo Rodriguez and new Arsenal signing Lichtsteiner, who will be making the record of most appearances in FIFA World Cups for Switzerland.

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Key Players:

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Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim, Winger)

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Hoffenheim winger Zuber scored the crucial goal against Brazil with a header in the opening match. That was his 4th goal for Switzerland in last six games.

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His current form has kept another talented player, Breel Embolo out of their first match against Brazil and will be the key to success for Switzerland in tonight’s Serbia Vs Switzerland encounter.

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Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan, Left-back)

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One of the most highly rated full-backs in Europe, is one the main reasons for the recent successes of Switzerland. His defensive and attacking contribution was very helpful for the national side in the qualifying rounds.

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His technical attributions are excellent especially with free-kicks and penalties as he is the man for Switzerland when duty calls for set-pieces. He scored the most important penalty against Northern Ireland in the final qualifying match which proved to be the winner bringing them to the FIFA World Cup 2018.

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Predicted Line-Up:

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Serbia Vs Switzerland, FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia
Predicted Line-Up For Switzerland

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Match Prediction:

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Serbia Vs Switzerland match will end in a 2-1 win for the Swiss.

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Keep visiting Arsedevils for more news and updates on the FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia.

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Sumeet Kavthale
Diploma in Indian Football Management. Die hard Stoke City fan but it is all about living and breathing Football. Football blogger.

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