Serbia vs Switzerland Preview: Both sides look to build on their promising starts to the competition

Serbia vs Switzerland Preview: Both sides look to build on their promising starts to the competition

The Serbians have the chance to progress to the final 16 with a victory but the Swiss will be hoping to carry on from where they left off against Brazil.

Brogan Clasper

Serbia have the chance to secure their place in the last 16 of the World Cup with a win on Friday night against Switzerland.

The two sides got off to excellent starts with Switzerland managing to hold Brazil to a draw and Serbia securing all three points against Costa Rica.

However, with Brazil expected to top the group this game seems to be the clash for the second spot.  

Promising starts

Serbia currently top Group E after their opening game victory over Costa Rica.

In what wasn't the greatest of games to watch, captain Aleksandar Kolarov produced a moment of absolute brilliance to provide his side with three valuable points.  

The former Manchester City defender curled in a free kick from 25-yards out to beat the scrambling Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas

It was a huge three points against the team expected to finish bottom of the group. 

Meanwhile, Switzerland came back from a goal down to earn a point against many people's favourites to win the World Cup - Brazil. 

Phillipe Coutinho's superb curled goal was cancelled out by Steven Zuber's thumping header. 

It was nothing less than what the Swiss deserved. Having weathered an early storm from Brazil, the Swiss grew in confidence to grab a point. 

Krstajic to keep faith in Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrović was the driving force in Serbia's qualification to the World Cup having scored six goals in the qualification games. 

However, Mitrović was well below par in their 1-0 victory over Costa Rica having squandered a golden opportunity on goal.

But boss Mladen Krstajić believes the goals will come for Mitrovic:

"I know his qualities, everybody knows his qualities," he said.

Having scored 12 goals in 17 appearances for Fulham last season, Mitrović is expected to keep his place in the starting Xi. 

"He lacked the luck to score (against Costa Rica) but we are keeping him there for the forthcoming games," Krstajić added. 

Physical approach 

Both sides are known for their physical approach to games. As seen in Switzerland's draw with Brazil, the flair of Brazil was neutralised by the high intensity and strong challenges from the Swiss.

Zuber's headered goal came from a corner where the striker worked himself into space before powering his header home. 

Much like Switzerland, Serbia also play with the same physicality and with Mitrović up top the Newcastle United striker is always a constant threat to the opposition's defence. 

Team news

Having limped off after 70 minutes against Brazil, Valon Behrami is expected to return to the squad in time for the Serbia clash.

After a sensational performance, Behrami was forced off the pitch with a thigh strain. 

The Udinese midfielder missed training on Tuesday but fitness tests showed no major sign of muscle damage and is therefore expected to start on Friday. 

As for Serbia, there are no injury concerns and manager Krstajić has a full squad to select from.