Brazil are still expected to claim top spot in most World Cup 2018 Group E predictions but Serbia go into the second round of fixtures two points clear at the summit.
The Eagles edged out Costa Rica 1-0 thanks to Aleksandar Kolarov’s fine free-kick and were cut to 17/5 to win this pool as a result.
Serbia are also now 7/10 to reach the knockout rounds after Brazil and Switzerland drew 1-1 in the other contest.
We’ve posted our World Cup 2018 Group E betting tips for the second set of games, with the five-time champions expected to cruise to victory in the Brazil vs Costa Rica preview.
The other two teams are hard to split at this point and a draw gets the nod in our Serbia vs Switzerland selections.
Standings Group E
Brazil coach Tite was convinced Switzerland’s equaliser should have been ruled out for a foul, claiming Steven Zuber pushed defender Miranda before heading his side level.
The Selecao had got off to the perfect start when Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho curled home a superb 20th-minute opener.
“I’m just going to say this once; the Miranda moment was very clear,” moaned Tite. “It’s a very clear play, it’s very, very clear.”
He added: “Of course my expectation was a victory, I wanted to win. Of course I’m not happy with the result.
“We had 20 attempts, but too many balls off-target. If we were a bit more concentrated, we could have made the goalkeeper work a little more. We have to be cooler, a little more precise.”
Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic felt Zuber’s effort was fair and was pleased with the battling qualities his men displayed.
He said: “The opponent was better and had more scoring opportunities, but I am proud of my team, the way they presented themselves.
“They didn’t give up, went the full 90 minutes, and when we were able to play forward and press high up, we did it very well indeed. It’s an excellent start.”
|Costa Rica vs Serbia||0 - 1||Samara Arena|
|Brazil vs Switzerland||1 - 1||Rostov Arena|
|Brazil vs Costa Rica||2 - 0||Saint Petersburg Stadium|
|Serbia vs Switzerland||Kaliningrad Stadium|
|Switzerland vs Costa Rica||Nizhny Novgorod Stadium|
|Serbia vs Brazil||Spartak Stadium|
Roma full-back Kolarov was delighted with his match-winning strike for Serbia against Costa Rica in Samara.
The Manchester City defender beamed: “The free-kick came in a difficult moment in the match and I knew I could step up and change things, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Coach Mladen Krstajic added: “My players had the right attitude and approach – unity. We had to be a compact unit in both defence and attack.”
It now looks a tall order for Costa Rica to emulate their feat of reaching the quarter-finals at Brazil 2014.
Los Ticos boss Oscar Ramirez commented: “I think it was a tight match. We should have capitalised on our opportunities like they did.
“We now play against the second and sixth-placed teams in the FIFA rankings. It’s going to be difficult, but I just told my team that this isn’t over.”