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Serbia - World Cup 2018

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Serbia is among the more experienced teams playing the 2018 World Cup. With an excellent midfield and defense as well as a capable attack, the Serbs are not a team to be overlooked.

Serbia is ranked number 34 by FIFA and they finished first in their qualifying group in the UEFA. This is their 11th World Cup appearance, although they missed qualifying for the 2014 tournament.

They are in a tough group this year, and the second place spot in Group E should be a toss-up, so don't be surprised to see them in the round of 16 this June.

Serbia’s World Cup History

Serbia's history is united with that of other former Yugoslavian teams which have competed in World Cups since the original tournament in 1930.

Between 1950 and 1990, the country qualified for seven World Cups, their best showing being a fourth-place finish in 1962. They also made the quarter-finals on three separate occasions. In 1992 the team dropped the Yugoslavian name after the breakup and became Serbia and Montenegro. In 2006 Montenegro declared their independence and the team became simply Serbia. They qualified for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 but missed out on Brazil 2014.

What Was Serbia’s Road To The 2018 World Cup?

This time around, Serbia didn’t make mistakes in wrapping up qualification going 6-3-1 in a group that included the Republic of Ireland and Wales, who both fielded strong teams that surprised in the Euro 2016 tournament.

During qualifying, they amassed 20 goals as a team, eight more than the second place Republic of Ireland. Despite the success, there was a managerial conflict over player personnel and late last year Mladen Krstajic took over for Slavoljub Muslin.

Serbia has gone 2-1-1 in the international friendly matches, but the team is playing well and receiving contributions from its key players.

How Does The Serbia World Cup 2018 Squad Stack Up?

Among those contributing, are Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, a midfielder who had been underutilized prior to Krstajic taking over. He will be accompanied up front by Dusan Tadic and Aleksandar Mitrovic, who led the team in scoring during qualifying.

The roots of the Serbian strength lies in the defense, however. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma),  Dusko Tosic (Besiktas) and Matija Nastasic (Schalke) are all experienced and capable of holding an opponent off the scoreboard. The only caveat is that they are all rising in age, and this is more than likely their last World Cup together.

Serbia Odds To Win World Cup 2018

The odds for Serbia advancing past the group stage are 1/1, the same as Switzerland, and that second spot will more than likely come down to what happens in the game between those two nations.

They don't have any recent contests between them, so it is difficult to say, and the odds show no clear favorite, but Switzerland's versatility should be a concern for Serbia. The only question is if Switzerland has the offensive capability to penetrate a tough Serbian defense.

Serbia World Cup 2018

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