World Cup favourites Brazil have been warming up for the tournament by happy-slapping their way through minnow after minnow having favoured ego-massaging friendlies as opposed to strenuous workouts.
Panama were the latest pipsqueak to have their lunch money pilfered by Luiz Felipe Scolari’s bully boy outfit, who were merciless in a 4-0 rout of their cowering Central American foes.
This followed two 5-0 bashings of South Africa and Honduras sandwiched either side of a 2-1 win over Chile, four results which account for half of the eight-match winning run they’re surfing into this Serbian clash.
Understandably, the Brazilians are almost unbackable at 1/5, with Ljubinko Drulovic’s side 12/1 underdogs next to the 21/4-rated draw.
Placing faith in the Eagles to snap their hosts’ winning streak here may be an ill-advised way to wager on this one, but judging from A Selecao’s scorelines against more reputable adversaries, it’s definitely worth backing the outsiders to make a game of it.
Here are three bets to mull over:
Serbia (+2) to win @ 5/4
They may have failed to topple the Panamanians last time out after squeaking by Jamaica the game before, but Serbia can avoid a battering from Brazil based on Canarinho’s recent results against middleweight nations.
Had Chile been afforded a two-goal start in their latest encounter, Jorge Sampaoli’s side would’ve prevailed, while Portugal would’ve drawn 3-3 as opposed to losing 3-1 and the margin of defeat against Switzerland in the game that preceded their current barnstorming run would’ve been far greater than 1-0.
Both teams to score @ 11/10
Only once in their last 11 have the Serbs failed to bag, with both goalkeepers required to retrieve the ball from their net in seven of these, including those representing superior Belgian and Croatian outfits.
Chile, Portugal, Switzerland, Uruguay and Italy are among the elite international outfits to have perforated the Brazilian backline inside their last 12, with Spain the only side who found the task too tough.
Brazil to be ahead at half-time @ 53/100
Big Phil’s charges are likely to make all their headway in the first half according to current form.
Verde-Amarela have been ahead at the interval in all bar one of their last eight, with just a solitary side able to banish their bagel before the half-time whistle.