The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place in Russia starting from June 14th, 2018, so check out our preview for all four national teams who’ll play in the Group E – Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Serbia. The first two games are set for June 17th, 2018, when Costa Rica meets Serbia at Samara Arena in Samara, while Brazil and Switzerland will lock horns at Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, and here’s all you need to know about the Group E at the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After a humiliating 7-1 defeat against Germany in the 2014 World Cup Semi-Finals on the home soil, Brazil looks determined to bounce back this summer in Russia, showing some convincing displays in the qualifying round where they’ve finished at the top of the group way ahead of Uruguay and Argentina. According to the BetDSI Sportsbook, Selecao is the biggest favorite to beat the 2018 FIFA World Cup at +400, while the price on them to reach the Semi-Finals is set at +110.
Brazil possesses a plenty of talent among the squad, including one of the best forwards in the world at the moment Neymar (83 caps, 53 goals) who will lead Selecao at the upcoming tournament, as he’s capable of both scoring and creating chances for his teammates. Neymar is currently recovering from an ankle injury, but he will be ready for the start of the World Cup, and it’s a great news for all Selecao’s fans who hope for the sixth World Cup Trophy in Brazil’s history. The bookies set the market on Neymar to win the Golden Boot at +1000, whilst the price on the striker Gabriel Jesus (15 caps, 9 goals) is set at +1600, as the bettors should track both these guys.
The playmaker Philippe Coutinho (35 caps, 9 goals) will be a key player in the midfield along with the anchor-man Casemiro (22 caps) whose defensive work is invaluable for this Brazil team, while the experienced centre-back Thiago Silva (69 caps, 5 goals) will be a backbone at the defensive line. The head coach Tite prefers a 4-3-3 formation, but he sometimes switches to a more defensive-minded 4-5-1 depending on opponents’ tactical setup, as Tite insists on a strong and reliable team defense. However, Brazil is still a great attacking machine, so the bettors can expect to see them bagging a couple of goals against each rival in the Group E.
Star Player: Neymar
One to Watch: Philippe Coutinho
Formation: 4-3-3 or 4-5-1
The Red Crusaders have beaten the Northern Ireland 1-0 on aggregate in the qualifying playoff to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup after finishing at the second spot of their qualifying group behind Portugal. They are coming to Russia as +1000 underdogs to reach the Semi-Finals, while they are set as +100 favorites to finish in the top two in the Group E and reach the second round. On the other hand, the bookmakers set the price on Switzerland to finish bottom of the group at +400, considering them as a stronger team than Costa Rica and Serbia.
Switzerland is a hard-working team with a few exceptional individuals among the squad, but they mostly focus on a teamwork and a dependable team defense. The head coach Vladimir Petkovic prefers a 4-5-1 formation that allows his boys to constantly keep the pressure on their opponents in the midfield, as he likes a cautious and patient approach. He also insists on a simple direct-passing style of play, while launching counter-attacks is his team’s main weapon, for sure. However, the bettors can expect to see some tight games when Switzerland plays, with no more than two goals in the total.
The 26-year old attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (68 caps, 20 goals) is a key member of this Swiss team, as his creativity leads to dangerous scoring opportunities, while Shaqiri is a superb free-kick taker, and his crosses are often a great power in Switzerland’s offense. Benfica’s striker Haris Seferovic (49 caps, 11 goals) will lead the frontline where Josip Drmic (27 caps, 9 goals) and Breel Embolo (23 caps, 3 goals) will both wait for their chance, so Vladimir Petkovic has a lot of options here, although his strikers are well-known for needing a dozen of chances to score one goal.
Manager: Vladimir Petkovic
Star Player: Xherdan Shaqiri
One to Watch: Haris Seferovic
Prediction: Fails to Reach the Round of 16
The Death was the biggest sensation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, burying some heavyweights in the group stage such as England and Italy, and reaching the Quarter-Finals where they were beaten by the Netherlands on penalties after a nil-nil draw in a regular time. This time, no one will underestimate Costa Rica on the pitch, despite the bookmakers favor them at -150 to end up the journey at the bottom of the Group E table, while the market on Costa Rica to reach the Quarter-Finals is set at +1400.
Costa Rica is a well-organized team, particularly at the back as they prefer to play with three centre-backs and two full-backs at their defensive line. Deadly counter-attacks and quick transforming from defense to offense are both their characteristics which make them such a hard opponent to beat, although Costa Rica doesn’t have a lot of top-class players in the squad. The captain Bryan Ruiz (109 caps, 23 goals) is arguably the biggest name here, while the winger Joel Campbell (76 caps, 14 goals) has become a star after a terrific performance in the previous World Cup tournament.
The midfielder Celso Borges (108 caps, 21 goals) is another key player of this Costa Rica team, providing both strength and stamina for the Death, while Marco Urena (62 caps, 15 goals) should start at the front, as the head coach Oscar Ramirez likes to play with one pure striker. The opening clash against Serbia could be crucial for Costa Rica’s destiny at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as the eventual defeat will probably mean elimination, whilst the bookies set the price on both teams to score on this one at +110.
Manager: Oscar Ramirez
Star Player: Bryan Ruiz
One to Watch: Joel Campbell
Prediction: Fails to Reach the Round of 16
The Eagles had a nice qualifying campaign, finishing surprisingly on the top of their group with a 6-3-1 record and scoring exactly two goals per game on average, showing they could be a potential surprise at the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Serbia meets mighty Brazil in the third round of the group phase, so the first two games against Costa Rica and Switzerland will be decisive for the Eagles, as four points out of these two tilts seem like a must if they want to qualify for the knock-out phase. The bookies favor Serbia at -150 to fail to reach the Round of 16, while the market on Eagles to finish in the top two in the Group E is set at +120.
Serbia possesses some exceptional players in the squad, including Lazio’s rising star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (2 caps) who’s considered among hottest prospects in the world at the moment. Sergej is a dynamic midfielder with remarkable technique and passing skills, while he often scores when running from deep. The experienced defenders Aleksandar Kolarov (74 caps, 10 goals) and Branislav Ivanovic (102 caps, 12 goals) should lead this Serbia team, along with the midfielder Nemanja Matic (38 caps, 2 goals) whose presence on the field is significant for the Eagles.
The head coach Mladen Krstajic is a rookie, and it could be the biggest issue for this Serbia side, while it’s the main reason why the bettors should be careful when picking the odds on Eagles who are a quite unpredictable team. If Krstajic manages to gel the things in the team’s play and create a good chemistry in the squad, his boys will be capable of reaching the knock-out round. Otherwise, they could sink easily, so the bettors should keep eyes on Serbia’s upcoming friendlies, while the opening game against Costa Rica will tell us a lot about their odds.
Manager: Mladen Krstajic
Star Player: Nemanja Matic
One to Watch: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
Formation: 3-6-1 or 4-5-1
Prediction: Round of 16
GROUP E GAMES
|Date||HOME||AWAY||1||X||2||O/U 2.5 Goals|
1st – Brazil, 2nd– Switzerland (+175)
1st – Brazil, 2nd – Serbia (+225)
1st – Brazil, 2nd – Costa Rica (+600)
Brazil is undoubtedly the strongest side here, and it would be a massive surprise if they fail to top the group table, while we should see a great battle for the second spot, as all remaining teams have potential to qualify for the Round of 16. Although the bookmakers favor Switzerland to finish in the second place over Serbia and particularly Costa Rica, it is hard to tell, from this point of view, who’ll be there at the end of the group phase.
The bettors can pick up Brazil as the first-placed, for sure, while betting on the totals in Brazil’s matches also looks like a good choice, while both pundits and bookmakers expect to see some tight games when the other three sides face each other.