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
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
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.