Serbia vs Switzerland predictions: Trust Tadic to deliver against Swiss
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Simon Barlow
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Dusan Tadic can supply the ammunition for Serbia to score at least a goal in their must-win clash against Switzerland on Friday
Dusan Tadic can supply the ammunition for Serbia to score at least a goal in their must-win clash against Switzerland on Friday

- Dusan Tadic had six assists in eight World Cup qualifying games for Serbia 
- The Ajax man assisted one of the Eagles goals against Cameroon 
- Recommended Bet: Tadic to give 1 or more assists

Switzerland and Serbia will vie for Group G's last unclaimed spot in the knockout stage on Friday in a rematch of the 2018 World Cup clash that ignited political tensions between the teams.

A draw will be enough to see the Swiss roll on to the round of 16 as long as Brazil beat Cameroon in the concurrent clash while Serbia know that nothing less than victory will take them through.

Dragan Stojkovic was left to rue missed chances after the Indomitable Lions roared back to claim an unlikely point in Monday's 3-3 draw.

The coach also missed an opportunity to make some tactical substitutions when his side were 3-1 up, although it could have been even more comfortable if Aleksandar Mitrovic had not left his shooting boots in London.

Switzerland, for whom stars Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri incurred FIFA fines for their tension-raising goal celebrations in the last game against Serbia, will be confident of reaching the last 16 for the fourth time in the last five World Cups.

Team news

Stojkovic said that all the squad is fully fit and revealed Dusan Vlahovic, who did not emerge from the bench against Cameroon, is ready to play after his condition became "incomparably better".

Mitrovic scored his first goal of the tournament against Cameroon, but missed two easier chances to score and still does not look fully mobile after a niggling ankle problem.

He remains Serbia's talisman and will lead the line in a 3-4-2-1 formation that features Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Dusan Tadic just off the front.

The Eagles' back three consists of Strahinja Pavlovic, Milos Veljkovic and Nikola Milenkovic, while no changes are anticipated in goal or midfield either.

For Switzerland, Yann Sommer and Nico Elvedi came down with bad colds on Wednesday night and missed training on Thursday.

The status of both players is up in the air with Jonas Omlin and Fabian Schar on standby to step into the line-up.

Noah Okafor is the only injury concern for Murat Yakin now that Shaqiri has overcome a muscle strain of his own.

Given a point should be enough to secure progression for Nati, Yakin is expected to continue with the cautious approach that frustrated Brazil for long periods by deploying Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler in front of the back four.

Scorer of the team's only goal in Qatar so far, Breel Embolo will start up front with Shaqiri, replacing Fabian Reider on the right, Djibril Sow and Ruben Vargas the likely choices in the attacking midfield roles.

The stats

Breel Embolo has scored Switzerland's only goal at World Cup 2022 so far
Breel Embolo has scored Switzerland's only goal at World Cup 2022 so far

In their World Cup group stage encounter four years ago, five yellow cards were issued by the referee — four for Serbian players and one to Shaqiri for removing his shirt as he celebrated his 90th-minute winner.

Serbia became the first-ever team to score more than one goal in added time at the end of the first half at any World Cup finals match during their 3-3 draw with Cameroon.

Only two goalkeepers have made more saves at this World Cup than Jan Sommer's total of nine, the Netherlands' Andries Noppert (who has played one game more) and his opposite number on Friday, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (12).

Prediction

It could be unsettling for the Swiss to lose Sommer and Elvedi, two mainstays of their rearguard for the last few years, ahead of such an important fixture.

However, in Schar at least, Yakin has a replacement that is in arguably better form than Elvedi.

Switzerland's expected caution could mean their sporadic attacks go unsupported by the full-backs or holding midfielders, but they should be in position to stop Serbia serving up the chances Mitrovic thrives on from wide areas.

Set-pieces will be crucial to making a breakthrough in this contest and Tadic's delivery has generally been excellent — as it was for Strahinja Pavlovic's header against Cameroon — so Serbia could have the edge there.

Joint-top of the assists league in European qualifying, Tadic could deliver an 11/4 winner with LiveScore Bet to give one or more assists in this game in which Serbia must score.

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SerbiaSwitzerlandWorld Cup
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