Serbia vs Chile
The World Cup is only weeks away, and the Russia-bound nations are stepping up in their preparations for the big games that are on their way.
Some of the qualified nations decided to test it out with their fellow competitors, but there are others who chose to fight strong squads in order to improve the World Cup betting odds on popular betting sites like us.
Serbia chose to prepare through the latter route and square off against Chile. While this match-up seems like a dire situation for the Serbs, it is not certain that the country’s biggest footballing stars will be making an appearance in this game.
Nevertheless, Merkur Arena will be trembling with excitement to see their European neighbours trading blows with the South American giants. After all, it’s not every day that they can see some of the best players from South America making the long trip to Europe, after all.
Serbia are obviously the leading stars of this match. They stood atop a very competitive group during the European qualifiers, fending off the Republic of Ireland, Wales and Austria — their hosts for this friendly — in order to automatically qualify for the World Cup.
Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic tries to get past defence during game with Salzburg
In the middle of the great Serbian festivities is Lazio midfielder and great hope Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The midfielder has impressed for Lazio this season that it is a wonder why the 23-year-old maestro was not selected at all by former coach Slavoljub Muslin during their European qualifiers.
New gaffer Mladen Krstajic is now in charge of the maintaining the national team. Unlike his predecessor, he easily picked Milinkovic-Slavic. The star midfielder is now expected to help the Orlovi make it out of a tough group that includes Costa Rica, Switzerland and tournament favourites Brazil.
With the injured Matija Nastasic out of the final World Cup roster, it is now up to Milan Rodic and Nikola Milenkovic to keep up with Aleksandar Kolarov, Antonio Rukavina and the rest of the Serbian defence. They will definitely struggle against Brazil’s attacks in the group stage, so they need to be able to put up a strong resistance against Chile.
Meanwhile, Chile have had an interesting run of form over the past few months. Their March friendlies against Sweden and Denmark featured familiar faces, but it seems like Reinaldo Rueda decided to shake things up a bit.
The squad he took to Europe didn’t have Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Mauricio Isla on it. Instead, he brought an experimental squad to scour players he could use for upcoming tournaments. They actually played resilient football against Romania despite losing Nicolas Castillo to a red card in the first half.
Even if the current Copa America holders don’t have their usual stars, it is best for the Russia-bound Serbs to tread carefully against La Roja. They might get caught up in their blistering pace and see themselves down by several goals.
Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic stands at the pitch during friendly with Nigeria
These two nations haven’t met that much in international friendlies, but their only previous matchup was a sign of how time has changed for both nations.
Ninth-ranked Chile were convincingly beaten by No 35 Serbia in a 2012 friendly at Kybunpark. Vidal saw red that match after Filip Duricic, Lazar Markovic and Filip Dordevic scored goals to doom Chile to a 3-0 deficit. Angelo Henriquez managed to deny Serbia their clean sheet late into the game to end the game 3-1.
The Chileans saw great success since then, but their failure to win against Brazil meant that they are one of the biggest teams to sit this summer out and wait for another four years. It is a big pain for many Chile supporters to see Alexis Sanchez missing the biggest party in world football. The fact that it were the Canarinha who denied them of their chance only made it sting more.
Meanwhile, Serbia had a mixed bag of results against fellow World Cup-bound squads. They drew against Korea Republic in November, the lost against Morocco and easily won over Nigeria in March. This friendly is the first of two they will have before Russia so they need to make every second count.
What are the Odds?
Given the fact that Chile are currently tweaking their lineups, there is a good chance for formations and instructions among these lads to be hazy and unclear. However, they showed that they can play fantastic football and keep up with one of the stronger teams in the calendar.
It will now be up to the Serbs if they can break the Chileans and jumpstart a great run of form. I think they have the personnel to do that, so betting on Serbia’s -0.50 Asian Handicap at us.com will reward punters with 2.02. The same boost for Chile is at 1.90.
I see this game being a high-scoring affair, so betting on Over 2..25 goals will net you 1.95.
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