Most successful footballing nation Brazil find themselves in Group E at FIFA World Cup 2018. The Samba Kings are joined by Costa Rica, Serbia and Switzerland.
Brazil are market’s favourites to win the tournament, so they shouldn’t face any difficulty in qualifying from their group. However, there is no clear frontrunner among remaining three sides, and we expect an exciting battle for the second qualifying spot.
Here’s our little preview on four sides in Group E.
The embarrassing defeat to Germany in 2014 must still be alive in minds of Brazil players. They must be desperate to salvage their pride in World Cup, and they are favourites to win the cup. The current Brazilian side has improved a lot in last four years, and they also come on the back of a near-perfect qualifying campaign.
With the kind of attacking talent they have, Brazil shouldn’t have any problem in disposing of their group partners.
The five-time World Champions are favourites to win their group at 4/11 odds, and they are available at 2/17 odds to qualify to the last-16.
Costa Rica were the surprise package in last World Cup as they topped their group ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England. They managed to make it the last-8 before bowing out to the Netherlands. However, they still remain huge underdogs and are favourites to finish bottom of the group. That is partly due to the fact that there are very few recognizable names in the Costa Rica squad. Keylor Navas, Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz and Bryan Oviedo are some names who ply their trade in Europe.
Costa Rica finished behind Mexico in the last round of CONCACAF qualification and earned a direct spot in World Cup. They are available at 5/6 odds to finish bottom and at 74/17 odds to qualify to the pre-quarterfinals.
Serbia are making an appearance at the cup following a gap of eight years. In 2010, Serbia claimed a shocking win over Germany, but they exited in the group stage after managing only three points from their three games.
Orlovi defeated challenges from the Republic of Ireland and Wales to win their qualifying group and earned a place among 32 nations for the upcoming cup. The Serbian squad consists of experienced names such as Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanovic and Aleksandar Kolarov. Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will handle goalscoring duties for the Serbian side.
Serbia are third-favourites to qualify from the group at 5/4 odds, and they are available at 4/5 odds to crash out in the group stage.
Switzerland have become famous for their utilitarian approach in major tournaments. Their approach has proved to be quite efficient and they have managed to make it out of the group stage in most tournaments in recent years.
Switzerland were impressive in their qualifying campaign, and they finished level on points with Portugal. However, they had to settle for the second spot due to an inferior goal difference. The Swiss defeated Northern Ireland 1-0 on aggregate in the playoff to book a place in World Cup.
Die Nati have some fine talent in Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Manuel Akanji and Haris Seferović, and undoubtedly, they have a better squad than Serbia and Costa Rica. They are available at 6/5 odds to qualify and at 5/6 odds to bow out in the group stage.
Brazil to win the group.
Costa Rica to not progress beyond the group stage.