The tense rivalry between Serbia and Switzerland helped to deliver a fantastic, progression-deciding group stage game at the World Cup four years ago in Russia. Fast forward four years and, in all likelihood, the rematch will decide who gets out of Group G behind Brazil.
In Russia, it was Switzerland that enjoyed a triumphant victory but this time around, Serbia are favored in World Cup odds as they look to flip the group's outlook over 90 minutes.
Just as they did four years ago, these two sides should deliver a compelling, intense battle. We'll get you set with our World Cup picks for Serbia vs. Switzerland, below.
Serbia vs Switzerland odds
Serbia vs Switzerland picks and predictions
Four years ago, Switzerland defeated a hated rival in Serbia to progress from their group behind Brazil. History will repeat itself in Qatar.
Both Serbia and Switzerland surprisingly topped their World Cup qualifying groups, with Serbia sending Portugal to the playoff and Switzerland doing the same to Italy.
While the heroics of Aleksandar Mitrovic and a lethal attack helped to power Serbia, it was the solidity of the Swiss — with just two goals conceded in qualifying — that suggested they could again reach the knockout stages, as they have in every major tournament since the 2014 World Cup. That solidity, especially in contrast to the volatile play of Serbia, has been apparent.
The expectation ahead of the tournament was that the second spot in Group G would come down to this matchup, and that the two prior matchdays would inform the outlook considerably. Both have proven correct, and the information we've gleaned is encouraging for Switzerland.
The Swiss effectively muted a productive Cameroon attack in their 1-0 win, limiting the Cameroonians to unthreatening chances and just 0.7 expected goals. They were even more compact and hard to break down against Brazil, with the decisive goal coming in a moment of brilliance. Even in the rare moments in which Brazil got behind the Swiss backline, Yann Sommer was there as he so often is.
While Switzerland have reinforced our notion of them in this group stage, it's been more discouraging for Serbia. They were entirely unable to get into the game vs. Brazil and were largely played around in a 2-0 loss. Then, in what could end up costing them progression, their expansive play led to a 3-1 lead over Cameroon disappearing in an eventual 3-3 draw.
Time and time again in tournament soccer, we see pragmatism win out. Switzerland are proof of that and have been for several competitions in succession. That will continue with a win seeing the Swiss through in Group G.
My best bet: Switzerland moneyline (+180 at PointsBet)
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Serbia vs Switzerland side analysis
Serbia have no choice but to attack freely in this game and go for the win, with a draw not enough to see them through. While they aren't short on attacking talent, particularly up top, they don't have the type of dynamism that would threaten the Swiss backline.
Switzerland handled the movement and creativity of Brazil so well that this Serbia side shouldn't pose a massive challenge. I don't expect Serbia to get anything out of this game and while their need to win could expose them, it wouldn't be a shock to see Switzerland play out the 90 minutes with tremendous caution.
I like Switzerland to win on the 3-way moneyline — Xherdan Shaqiri & Co. won't pass up a chance to beat Serbia — but a pick of Switzerland draw/no bet (-110) could be worthwhile too, should the Swiss be happy to take a point and head to the Round of 16.
Serbia vs Switzerland Over/Under analysis
I've happily scoured the goal markets throughout the group stage for worthwhile alternative markets but here, I am keeping it simple and taking the Under 2.5 (-125).
Above all else, this comes down to supreme faith in Switzerland's defensive stability. They muted Cameroon entirely and forced Brazil to scrap and claw for a 1-0 win after finishing with the best defensive record in UEFA World Cup qualifying.
Serbia will have to throw everything at Switzerland but they won't breach Sommer multiple times — nor do the Swiss have the type of attacking talent to repeatedly punish a numerically advantageous break.
Serbia vs Switzerland game info
|Location:||Stadium 974, Al Rayyan, Qatar|
|Date:||Friday, December 2, 2022|
|Time:||2:00 p.m. ET|
Serbia vs Switzerland key injuries