Match preview:Serbia vs Brazil



The task for Serbia on Wednesday is

straightforward, but achieving it against a

team like Brazil will be far from easy.

The Eagles may have been encouraged by

Brazil's underwhelming form so far at this

World Cup, but they are now left in a position

where they will likely need to beat the five-

time world champions to progress.

A draw would be enough should Switzerland

lose to Costa Rica by two or more goals, but

the Swiss are favourites in that match

against the already-eliminated Central

Americans and will name a full-strength team

in order to ensure their own progress.

Victory would guarantee their place in the

last 16 for the very first time as an

independent nation, though, adding even more

weight to what would be a famous triumph in

any scenario.

Aleksandar Kolarov's stunning strike got

Serbia's campaign off to an ideal start with

victory over Costa Rica , and they would have

been well on course for the last 16 had they

held out against Switzerland in their second

match.

A draw against the Swiss would have left

them joint-top of the group on four points

with Brazil, but Xherdan Shaqiri 's 90th-

minute winner ensured that they dropped

down to third place, with just one point now

separating those top three.

In their former guise as Yugoslavia, Serbia

qualified from the group stages of a World

Cup three out of four times after winning

their opening game - doing so in 1930, 1954

and 1998 - but the odds are now against them

to achieve the same feat this summer.

Key to overcoming those odds will be keeping

Brazil's attackers quiet; Serbia have lost each

of the six previous World Cup matches in which

they have conceded as an independent nation,

while winning the two in which they have kept

a clean sheet.

Mladen Krstajic 's side will also be hoping for

more favourable refereeing decisions to give

them every chance of progressing, and with

top spot in Group E still available to The

Eagles - albeit an unlikely option - Serbia

could approach the game with nothing to lose

and everything to gain.