Russia are favourites to beat Serbia in an evenly-matched friendly today.
Both sides have stressed the importance of the fixture to their Euro 2012 qualification preparations, meaning the match is unlikely to be a tame affair.
The fact that the two teams are just nine places apart on the Fifa world rankings also points towards the game being closely-fought.
Nevertheless, Russia, considered the 18th-best team on the planet by world football’s governing body, are odds-on to win in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
While perhaps not as dangerous as the side which beat Holland in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 – having reached the tournament at England’s expense – Russia have made a decent start to their Euro 2012 qualification campaign.
Dick Advocaat’s men are level on points with Ireland and Slovakia at the top of Group C with a record of four wins, a draw and a defeat from their five games.
Serbia have been less impressive in a group with runaway leaders Italy, although with two wins, two draws and two defeats in their six games so far they still have a chance of beating Slovenia to second spot.
However, while Serbia’s qualification record is inferior to Russia’s, their recent form is actually better, suggesting they stand a chance of causing an upset this evening.
Russia have won just once in their last six games, while Serbia have lost just once in the same timeframe, winning three and drawing the other two.
With this in mind, betting on a draw at odds of 47/20 could pay dividends, with the fact three of Russia’s last four games have ended in a tie also suggesting this could be the best bet.
A £25 free bet on Russia to draw with Serbia, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £83.75.
Russia’s recent home record is another factor which points towards Serbia being able to avoid defeat, with only one win recorded in their last four games in their own country.
That said, it should also be noted that Roman Pavlyuchenko scored a hat-trick the last time Russia played at home, which helps to explain why Russia are 23/100 to find the back of the net.
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