Wales VS Serbia Prediction
Minutes after the final whistle in Vienna, Wales and Serbia will close the 2016 schedule in Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Serbs head for Wales as group leaders due to better goal difference they have from the Republic of Ireland, at least before match between Austria and Ireland earlier on Saturday evening, 12 November 2016. On other hand hosts will rely to their home advantage at the “Cardiff City Stadium” in Welsh capital Cardiff, where “Dragons” are unbeaten in a competitive game for more than three years.
Head-to-head (H2H) record: Wales vs Serbia
It’s interesting to note that last home defeat for Wales in official game came exactly by Serbia, which happened in September 2013. Both sides were together in group A of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, when both nations met for the very first time and nobody in Wales will want to remember for any of those games.
First clash was on 11 September 2012 when Serbia won 6-1 at the “Stadion Karađorđe” in Novi Sad, as we can find most of the goal scorers back then in current selection of both managers. Aleksandar Kolarov, Zoran Tosic, Dusan Tadic and Branislav Ivanovic were all on the score sheet for “The Eagles”, while guess who… Gareth Bale was the one who scored a consolation goal for Wales.
One year after the nightmare in Novi Sad, Wales lived another horrible night and that is the above-mentioned defeat – 0:3 at the same ground where they’ll play this Saturday. Chris Coleman was once again totally outwitted by its colleague Sinisa Mihajlovic, as Aleksandar Kolarov, Lazar Markovic and Filip Djordjevic were the goal scorers for Serbia in their previous journey to Wales. First two are once again in current Serbian squad chosen by Slavoljub Muslin.
Wales vs Serbia – Team News and Match Preview
After two draws in October, Wales will try to get back on track and manager Chris Coleman will have another chance to show that both previous games vs Serbia are only history. However, Chris Coleman will have to be critical towards its players and they cannot always rely to drift on the results from their remarkable UEFA Euro 2016 performance.
Wales began its qualifying road to Russia in a promising way, after they wrecked Moldova 4-0 at home, but that has been followed by two draws. First one of them can be well-received since a 2-2 draw in Austria, against another main favourite, cannot be considered for bad result. Of course, it’s not the perfect score (victory), but however, it’s definitely not bad. Bad is the most recent result of Chris Coleman’s side when Wales took the lead thanks to Gareth Bale after only 10 minutes, but contrary to expectations for another expressive win like in game vs Moldova, Georgia has slipped Welsh team and final score was 1-1. Thus Wales remains without a loss in the qualifying, but they could been next to top two sides. After a win and two draws, Wales occupies third position, but they can easily move above Serbia if they grab the whole set of points out of here, so under certain circumstances Wales can even climb to the peak.
Slavoljub Muslin apparently found the right rhythm of the Serbian team and after his appointment in May 2016, Serbia remains undefeated. That form contains 4 wins and 2 draws but let’s leave the friendly matches aside, “Eagles” are flying high and they show decent results in the qualifiers so far. Perhaps the missed opportunity for winning against Ireland on the outset of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers embitters the feeling that Serbs could be on top of the group, by winning maximum number of points, but they failed to keep their lead.
Tie against Ireland has been followed by two victories and six-goals scored in the relevant qualifiers against Moldova and Austria. First from the two October games for Serbia was in Moldova, where Slavoljub Muslin’s men were quite convincing and they’ve won 3-0. That was the warm-up for upcoming clash against Austria which was main test for the Serbs, who had to take the initiative three times. Fortunately for the home side, third goal was crucial and that has formed the final score 3-2, which places Serbia on top of the group, at least before official kick-off of fourth qualifying round.
Wales vs Serbia – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Ben Davies and James Collins were initially called up by Welsh manager Chris Coleman, but later on they have been withdrawn from the squad due to injuries. Adam Matthews (Bristol City) and Joe Walsh (Milton Keynes Dons) have been selected to replace them, but we don’t believe someone from both will be featured in the starting XI. Considering absence of those two defenders and their ability to find position in preferred by Chris Coleman 3-5-2 formation, we believe that Paul Dummett may fill the gap from their absence. Left-back of Newcastle looks as a decent choice, who is also well aware with skills of his teammate Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is expected to lead Serbian attack in Wales.
As we all know “Mitro’s on fire” and he has scored two from the goals against Austria, receiving great support through the wings, where Filip Kostic and Dusan Tadic are expected to operate again. This will be the main challenge for Welsh defensive line and most likely captain Ashley Williams will have the main task to mark Mitrovic, but presence of Dummett can surely be useful.
Defender Jagos Vukovic and central midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa have been ruled out due to injuries, but Slavoljub Muslin can find adequate replacements, especially when Chelsea’s midfielder Nemanja Matic has served its suspension. Matic has not been available for Serbia in their opening three World Cup qualifiers but now he’s ready to return.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
This will be a very tough game for both sides and we won’t be surprised if only one goal decides the final outcome. However, we don’t want to make any predictions for goals and we give bigger credit on victory for the home team. For bigger insurance we’re ready to place our bet on Wales but with the Asian Handicap 0 (Draw No Bet) on their side.
Venue: “Cardiff City Stadium”, Cardiff.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco from Spain.
Possible starting lineups of Wales and Serbia
Wales: Wayne Hennessey – Paul Dummett, Ashley Williams, James Chester – Neil Taylor, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Joe Ledley, Chris Gunter – Gareth Bale, Sam Vokes. (3-5-2)
Serbia: Vladimir Stojkovic – Matija Nastasic, Stefan Mitrovic, Branislav Ivanovic – Aleksandar Kolarov, Luka Milivojevic, Nemanja Matic, Antonio Rukavina – Dusan Tadic, Filip Kostic, Aleksandar Mitrovic. (3-4-3)