Serbia will hoping to progress beyond the World Cup group stages for the first time this century, needing a win in their final group game.
The Eagles haven’t made it beyond the World Cup’s initial phase since 1998 (then part of Yugoslavia), but Dragan Stojkovic will know that he has a potential ‘Golden Generation’ on his hands with the likes of Dusan Vlahovic, Dusan Tadic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Filip Kostic.
Last time out in Russia, Serbia were placed in a group alongside Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica and finished third, earning just one win against the latter.
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Latest Serbia odds to win the World Cup
|Betting Market||BetUK Odds|
|Serbia to win the World Cup||140/1|
|Serbia to reach semi-final odds||N/A|
|Serbia to reach quarter-final odds||N/A|
|Serbia odds to win Group G||200/1|
|Dusan Vlahovic World Cup Golden Boot odds||100/1|
*You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (09:30, 24/11/2022). BeGambleAware.
Our recommended Serbia bet for World Cup 2022
Recommended bet2:58 pm Sunday December 18
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Since becoming an independent sovereign state in 2006, Serbia have taken part in two World Cups: 2010 and 2018. It was a bittersweet exit from South Africa 12 years ago, as Radomir Antic’s men beat European heavyweights Germany 1-0 in the groups, but lost out to Australia and Ghana. Eight years later, the Eagles were unable to exorcise those demons, crashing out of the groups once again with just the single win. They’ll be hoping third time’s the charm this year.
Serbia route to the World Cup 2022 final in Qatar
Group stage fixtures
|Brazil 2-0 Serbia||Lusail Iconic Stadium||24 November 2022, 7pm|
|Cameroon 3-3 Serbia||Al Janoub Stadium||28 November 2022, 10am|
|Serbia vs Switzerland||Report Stadium||2 December 2022, 7pm|
*All times GMT
Serbia have once again been pitted with the tournament’s most successful nation in Brazil. They clashed in 2018, with Paulinho and Thiago Silva getting the goals for the Samba nation in a 2-0 win. Funnily enough, Switzerland were also in that group, giving this initial phase a very familiar feel. Cameroon then take the place of Costa Rica, the only nation Serbia claimed points off four years ago.
After falling to a 2-0 defeat to favourites Brazil in the opening game, the Serbs thought they were on their way to their first win of the tournament over Cameroon, racing into a 3-1 lead before being pegged back and the game eventually ending 3-3. Serbia will now have to beat Switzerland in their final group game to have any chance of making it to the knockout rounds.
Who could Serbia meet in the knockout rounds?
A runners-up position in Group G is Serbia’s only route to the knockout rounds as they can no longer top the group after a 3-3 draw against Cameroon. This would pit you against Portugal, who will view first in Group H as non-negotiable. If the Serbs end Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup hopes in the first knockout round, then they will be treated to either the Group F winners or Group E runners-up. Then from the penultimate round onwards, you’ll most likely run into two of England, Argentina, France or Netherlands.
|If Serbia come runners up in Group G||Potential opponent|
|Round of 16||Portugal|
Confirmed Serbia World Cup 2022 squad
|Strahinja Pavlovic||Defender||21||Red Bull Salzburg|
|Milos Veljkovic||Defender||27||Werder Bremen|
|Filip Mladenovic||Defender||31||Legia Warsaw|
|Strahinha Erakovic||Defender||21||Red Star Belgrade|
|Darko Lazovic||Midfielder||32||Hellas Verona|
|Ivan Ilic||Midfielder||21||Hellas Verona|
Serbia players to watch at this year’s World Cup 2022
Serbia top World Cup Golden Boot contender – Dusan Vlahovic
Juventus’ powerfully-built forward has been riding the crest of a goalscoring wave since his breakthrough 2020/21 season in Tuscany. Only Ciro Immobile (53) has netted more than Vlahovic (51) since the start of that campaign in Serie A. He marries a physically-imposing frame with a cut-throat precision in the opposition box. It’s a dangerous combination that should work menacingly in tandem with Premier League goal fiend Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Serbia player to watch – Dusan Tadic
Dusan Tadic radiates creative unpredictability. The mercurial Serb was unplayable in bursts on the South Coast during an uncertain stint with Southampton in the Premier League. But since moving to Ajax, he has reinvented himself as a truly elite playmaker. The totemic creator of Erik ten Hag’s famous Champions League semi-final run in 2018/19, Tadic has magic in his boots and clarity of thought in his head. Since relocating to Amsterdam in 2018, Tadic has both scored (69) and assisted (72) more than any other player in the Dutch Eredivisie. The prospect of him feeding balls to Vlahovic and Mitrovic is mouth-watering.
Serbia emerging player to look out for – Ivan Ilic
With all that creativity and potency up front, Dragan Stojkovic will need a range of attributes to balance his tactical broth. In Ivan Ilic, he possesses a midfield stoic, someone willing to put in the hard yards and set the tempo. Before he suffered an injury at the end of September which has ruled him out of Serie A action since, the 21-year-old registered more ball recoveries (57) than any other midfielder in Serie A. Don’t sleep on his creativity, either. Only Piotr Zielinski (21), Lorenzo Pellegrini (21), Ismael Bennacer (20) and Paulo Dybala (19) had created more chances than him (14) this term among ‘midfielders’ at the time of his injury.
Serbia tactical analysis & likely formation at the World Cup
Dragan Stojkovic has been wedded to a back-three formation which looks to congest play in the middle of the pitch and stretch the turf, with the use of overlapping wing-backs. Naturally Kostic occupies the left-wing-back berth, while Andrija Zivkovic appears to be Stojkovic’s preferred choice on the right. Both players offer width and verticality as they aim to push high up the pitch.
To mitigate the open spaces subsequently developed by Serbia’s overlapping wing-backs, a defensive double-pivot is stationed in front of the back-three, usually consisting of a combo between Ilic, Nemanja Gudelj, Nemanja Maksimovic or Sasa Lukic. That midfield buffer allows for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Tadic to form a creative ‘double 10’, dovetailing behind either Vlahovic or Mitrovic.
Given the array and varying styles available to Stojkovic, he has experimented with his personnel, and set-up, occasionally going two up top in a 3-4-1-2 with a single enganche, which certainly makes sense given the number of goal-hungry 9s staring him in the face.
Where are Serbia in the Fifa world rankings?
Serbia are currently ranked 21st in the Fifa world rankings, jumping up four spots at the time of the last update.
Who is the Serbia manager?
Former Marseille midfielder Dragan Stojkovic is currently leading Serbia by the bridle. The 84-capped Yugoslavia international made the ‘World Cup All-Star Team’ in 1990 and even captained the former nation in the 1998 edition. He knows this competition like the back of his hand.
Who is the current Serbia captain?
Soon to be 34, Dusan Tadic is very much a ‘seasoned’ pro these days and currently leads the dressing room for Serbia.
How many times have Serbia won the World Cup?
Serbia are yet to win the World Cup, previously finishing fourth twice when part of Yugoslavia in 1930 and 1962.
How many times have Serbia competed in the World Cup?
As an independent sovereign state, Serbia have competed twice in the World Cup. In total (including their 2006 appearance as Serbia and Montenegro), they have appeared 12 times at the World Cup.
Who has scored Serbia’s most goals in World Cup tournaments?
Aleksandar Kolarov, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Marko Pantelic and Milan Jovanovic all have a goal apiece for Serbia as an independent country. It should be noted that FIFA actually recognise Serbia as the official successor of the Yugoslav team, so they have inherited all of their records. As such, Drazan Jerkovic is Serbia’s official top scorer with four goals, all of which came in the 1962 World Cup.
Which player from Serbia has the most World Cup appearances?
Again, if we’re talking independent Serbia, then Vladimir Stojkovic has made the most appearances with six. As part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro, Dragoslav Sekularac, Ivica Surjak, Dragan Stojkovic and Dejan Stankovic all share nine appearances apiece.