We take a look at the teams in Group E of the 2018 Russia World Cup and we give our tips and bets for each of the teams as well as our overall bets for the group. View our Group E Tips and Bets for the World Cup below.
Concise World Cup team profiles, fixtures, kick-off times, group odds and novelty bets
Brazil Costa Rica Switzerland Serbia
Fixtures, Dates and KO Times
Costa Rica vs Serbia, Sunday, June 17, 10pm (AEST), Samara Brazil vs Switzerland, Monday, June 18, 4am (AEST), Rostov-on-Don Brazil vs Costa Rica, Friday, June 22, 10pm (AEST), St Petersburg Serbia vs Switzerland, Saturday, June 23, 4am (AEST), Kaliningrad Serbia vs Brazil, Thursday, June 28, 4am (AEST), Nizhny Novgorod Switzerland vs Costa Rica, Thursday, June 28, 4am (AEST), Nizhny Novgorod
Naturally, Brazil are clear favourites (1.26) to win the group, but who will join them in the knock-out stages is very much up for debate.
Switzerland are given the benefit of the doubt with odds of evens (2.05) to finish in the top two in Group E, with Serbia at the same odds (2.05).
That leaves Costa Rica as the outsiders to go through at (4.50), but punters may remember La Sele upset many odds in getting out of England’s group at the last World Cup in Brazil.
For anyone interested in backing the Costa Ricans again, the value lies in Unibet’s (7.00) odds of Brazil to win the group and Costa Rica to finish second.
Individual Team Summaries
In theory, memories of the horrors of 2014 should mean Brazil avoid the favourites tag, but there’s no doubt they’ll be in Russia to win and the bookies do indeed make them frontrunners (5.00).
Tite has worked wonders since taking over as coach, restoring confidence and shaping a side that should entertain neutrals as well as those back home.
Initially, the Selecao looked in real danger of failing to make it to Russia at all, struggling in their opening games in the giant CONMEBOL group.
But Tite’s arrival sparked a fine run of wins and in the end qualification was sealed with some ease, back in March.
Everything should be set up perfectly for star man Neymar to shine & he has a role that suits him and team-mates that he trusts.
That is, of course, assuming he fully recovers from his broken foot sustained in February. Alternative bet: Neymar to win the Golden Boot (10.00).
It took a dramatic, stoppage time equalizer against Honduras for Costa Rica to book their place in the 2018 World Cup.
This will be their fourth appearance in the competition, following an underdog run to the quarter-finals in the Brazil World Cup, ending in spot kick agony against a Tim Krul-inspired Dutch squad.
A 4-0 hammering of USA in San Jose was Costa Rica’s highlight in their qualification run, along with a stiff defence that limited them to only eight goals conceded.
Losses to group leaders Mexico and third-place finishers Panama only marred their journey.
It would be hard to imagine Costa Rica can replicate their fairy tale run to the quarter-finals, featuring two surprising wins over Uruguay and Italy.
Key players such as Christian Bolanos and Bryan Ruiz are now in their 30s.
Joel Campbell, of nomadic Arsenal fame, scored a goal in the 2014 World Cup and set up another one, but has yet to mark a true mark on the international stage.
Cristian Gamboa, a marauding right-back who plays for Celtic, has featured in the majority of qualifiers for La Sele and will be expected to add a bit of class to a backline featuring rough and tumble centre backs.
Alternative bet: Costa Rica to be eliminated in the quarters (26.00)
Despite qualifying for all but one of the last eight major tournaments, Switzerland’s multicultural squad have never made it past a second round, leaving the current crop to bear the building weight of expectation upon which the much-vaunted previous generations failed to deliver.
As mentioned, that is not reflected in the group betting markets as Switzerland are given the best chance of joining Brazil in the last 16. From there, anything is a bonus.
Unibet offer 3.00 on the Swiss going out at the last 16 stage, and 7.00 for them to go out in the quarters.
Xherdan Shaqiri is arguably Switzerland’s most recognisable player, and the Stoke playmaker is 5.00 to finish up his side’s top scorer at the tournament, though Benfica striker Haris Seferovic is the much more likely option at 3.50.
Alternative bet: Xhaka to receive most cards for Switzerland (6.00).
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the Lazio midfielder, was a much-talked about subject during the qualifiers and ended up being a player that cost Slavoljub Muslin his job as the national head coach.
A world-star in the making, Milinkovic-Savic was deemed surplus to Muslin’s requirements which caused plenty of attention in Serbia.
Muslin also saw Milinkovic-Savic’s personality and attitude as a potential hazard to team spirit.
Following the successful qualifiers, Muslin was given a sort of an ultimatum to start incorporating the Lazio star into the team and it ended up being the biggest obstacle between him and the president of the Serbian FA, leading to Muslin’s sacking.
Milinkovic-Savic was immediately introduced to the first team by interim head coach Mladen Krstajic for the November friendlies and went on to impress in a 2-0 victory against China and grabbed an assist in a 1-1 stalemate vs South Korea.
Now, Milinkovic-Savic is expected to be given a prominent role in Russia alongside Nemanja Matic the Lazio man looks good enough to grab his chance with both hands.
Alternative bet: Tadic Dusan to make most assists for Serbia at the World Cup ().
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