World Cup News 27.6.2018 07:50 pm

Blow by blow: Serbia vs Brazil

Brazil's (from L) Marcelo, Neymar and Paulinho attend a training session in Saint Petersburg on June 21, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup Group E match against Costa Rica

Brazil's (from L) Marcelo, Neymar and Paulinho attend a training session in Saint Petersburg on June 21, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup Group E match against Costa Rica

Brazil may face another nervy 90 minutes.

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Brazil still have work to do to secure their last-16 spot after a couple of unconvincing displays against Switzerland and Costa Rica, and won’t expect Serbia to make things easy for them. Odds of 1/2 for the Selecao to get the job done look slightly on the tight side after a draw and a win secured via two late, late goals.

Serbia were one defensive brainfade away from a draw against Switzerland in the last round of games but now need a win here to qualify – or at the very least a point and an unlikely favour from Costa Rica in the other game.

It will be interesting to see how they go about it. Clearly, this Brazil team is not firing on all cylinders and can be frustrated. While Serbia need a win, they will not want to be too gung-ho too early and risk losing any chance. Better surely to prey on Brazil’s nerves and try to pinch something in a fraught second half.

There’s 7/4 available for the game to be goalless at half-time, which looks very reasonable indeed, while Draw/Brazil in the HT/FT at 3/1 looks like a good fit for the course this game may well take.

It’s hard to justify Philippe Coutinho being a bigger price than Gabriel Jesus or Neymar in the goalscorer markets based on what we’ve seen in Russia thus far. With Serbia not exactly full of goals themselves, 9/2 for the Barcelona playmaker to open the scoring for the third game running looks pretty decent business to us.

·         Draw/Brazil HT/FT at 3/1

·         Philippe Coutinho to score first at 9/2

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