Serbia vs. Switzerland, 2 p.m. ET, Fox

  • Serbia +179
  • Switzerland +202
  • Draw +204

Bet to Watch:

Winning Margin 1 goal +120

After Switzerland’s shock draw against Group E favorites Brazil last Sunday, the winner of this match would all but secure a place in the Round of 16, and have a very real chance of doing so at the top of the pile.

A meeting between two teams that always seemed likely to contend for second spot, this promises to be among the most evenly matched games of the group stages, and that much is highlighted in the outright odds. Most bookmakers have Serbia down as marginal favorites, which is a somewhat curious turnaround.

It was the Swiss, after all, that were backed as the slight second favorites to Brazil to progress past the group phase. So one would have thought the fact that they picked up an unlikely point against the Selecao would have strengthened that position. Serbia were predicted to beat Costa Rica, after all, and while the Serbs were the better side, it took a trademark Aleksandar Kolarov free kick to seal all three points.

That said, Mladen Krstajic’s side have the greater individual quality within their ranks and are a bigger goal threat. Switzerland are an organized and physical outfit, but when it comes to match winners, the candidates are thin on the ground.

In Aleksandar Mitrovic, meanwhile, Serbia have an uncompromising and hard-working striker aiming to make up for a couple of glaring misses in their group opener. He’s a player who might not have the sort of conversion rate that would rank him among the most dangerous forwards in the tournament, but he picks up scoring positions on a regular basis and has a strong and varied supply line from those in support.

He’s the sort of physical front man who could pose problems to a Switzerland backline that can be ruffled if you can get beyond the shield ahead of them. While the young forward is the shortest price in the anytime scorer market, that figure is still out over +200, with some owing to the fact that this match is just so close to call.

However, a draw may well suit Switzerland more — despite being two points back — and they will look to keep things tight in the opening exchanges, that’s for sure. Whether or not they can keep Serbia at bay for 90 minutes is another matter, but it’s the latter that may need to open up in the second half, and the Swiss will look to exploit any chance to counter.

My tip for this one would be in the winning margin markets, with just one goal likely to separate the sides at the final whistle.

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