Serbia vs England Prediction, Picks | Euro 2024 Match Preview

Serbia vs England Prediction, Picks | Euro 2024 Match Preview article feature image

Serbia vs England Odds

Sunday, June 16
3 p.m. ET
FS1
Serbia Odds+600
England Odds-223
Draw+350
Over / Under
2.5
 -110/-110
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Serbia and England kick off their tournaments with a crucial match in Group C.

Serbia finished second in their qualifying group to get back to the Euros after missing out on the tournament in 2021. They had a very poor showing at the World Cup in 2022, but there is talent littered across this squad with a style of play that could give them a real shot at upsetting England.

England is your tournament favorite, bringing one of the most talented teams in their history to the Euros. This will be Gareth Southgate's last international tournament as the England boss and will be looking to end their title drought that dates all the way back to 1966. They lost on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2021 final, so they will be looking for redemption at this tournament.

Read below for my Serbia vs. England pick and prediction for Sunday, June 16.


Serbia

Serbia is the biggest chaos team in this entire tournament. Their style of play both in possession and out of possession is for lack of a better word, "crazy." When they have the ball, they are always looking to play very direct, get the ball out wide and swing in crosses because they have two of best aerial threats in this entire tournament in Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksander Mitrovic.

The problem with playing that style is, if you run into a team that can defend crosses well, defend well in transition, and compete for aerial duals, you are kind of stuck offensively.

Out of possession where the real problems lie for Serbia. Typically, you will see them always trying to counter press when they lose the ball or press high from dead ball situations, but they aren't that great of a pressing team.

What often happens is they are not good enough at closing the ball down, which creates an easy transition opportunity for the opponent. However, when they played Brazil at the World Cup, they decided to sit deep in a solid defensive structure and dared Brazil to break them down.

It actually worked for an extended period of time, and it took a wonder strike from Richarlison to put Brazil ahead. In the end, Serbia only allowed 2.2 expected goals, but a lot of the chances they conceded were after they were down 1-0.


England

England has absolutely everything to win the Euros, but the only thing that could hold them back is pragmatism.

England's build up is incredibly slow and Southgate is a little too obsessed with playing through the middle of the pitch. The passing and ball carrying ability they have in their midfield is insane with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, and maybe even Trent Alexander-Arnold if they decide to play him in more of a midfield role.

The problem that has existed is, if England faces a team with a really good compact defensive structure, the chances tend to dry up with it. With that being said they have the best striker in this tournament in Harry Kane, the best right winger in Bakayo Saka, and the Premier League player of the year in Phil Foden. So, trying to stop them is going to be a nightmare for any team.

While everyone is fawning over England's offense and rightfully so, it's their defense that is the real strong point. Since September of 2021, England is allowing 0.57 xG per 90 minutes in non-friendlies, which is lowest of anyone in Europe. Defending in transition and defending set pieces are the two biggest keys for some of the top sides to avoid getting upset.

Since England held 66% of the possession throughout qualifying, those are really the only two routes that teams have against them. They allowed the fewest shots per set piece in the Euro field and also allowed the sixth-fewest shots off of counterattacks.


Serbia vs England

Prediction

Even though Serbia tends to play a very aggressive style, when they play against the top sides, they have shown to play a lot more passively in fear of getting opened up.

England is going to control a large majority of the possession in this match and really try to slow the pace down to avoid getting into a track meet with Serbia. Their ability to defend in transition, as well as set pieces, makes it very difficult for Serbia to find a route here in which they can actually create a decent number of high quality chances.

I only have 2.14 goals projected for this match. So, I like the value on under 2.5 goals at -105.

Pick: Under 2.5 (-105 via Caesars

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for soccer bettors
The best soccer betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.