Preview - Serbia vs Bolivia 10 June 18

Started by Harry85, Jun 09, 2018, 03:07 AM

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International Friendly
Serbia vs Bolivia
Sunday, June 10th, 2018
01:00am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: UPC Arena

Last five matches form: W D L W L
Average goals per match: 2.00
Average goals against per match: 1.00
Top Scorer: Dušan Tadić and Aleksandar Mitrović (13)

Last five matches form: L D L L D
Average goals per match: 0.89
Average goals against per match: 2.11
Top Scorer: Juan Carlos Arce (11)

Not long now until Serbia take to the field in Russia to take part in just their second World Cup as its own country following the dissolution of Serbia and Montenegro. They complete their preliminaries with this game in Austria against South American opposition in the form of Bolivia.

Not surprisingly this will be the first time the two sides have met in international competition.

FIFA world ranked 34, Serbia did really well to come through a group containing Wales, Austria and the Republic of Ireland. Their friendly results since have been a little mixed though, beating China and Nigeria, but losing to Morocco and Chile.

No World Cup for Bolivia this time around, who between the end of 2015 and the end of 2016 achieved the unwanted feat of losing ten international matches in a row. Their form has improved since that losing streak, with five wins in their last 13. They remain very difficult to predict though, managing to beat Argentina but lose to Curaçao in the space of a year.

This really depends which version of Bolivia turn up. Overall though the South Americans are now winless in six, and haven't scored in their last three and cant be fancied with any confidence to avoid defeat here.

Serbia were shut out against Chile last time but had scored in their previous ten, and in a game where even one goal may be enough they should come out on top.

Prediction: Serbia 2 - 0 Bolivia


Half time: 4 - 0
Full time: 5 - 1
Shots: 18 - 5
Shots on target: 8 - 1
Corner Kicks: 7 - 2
Possession: 60% - 40%

It wasn't hard to tell which of these sides had qualified for the World Cup and which hadn't as Serbia completely dismantled a poor Bolivia outfit in the opening 45 minutes.

"Mitro's On Fire" has become a common chant during Aleksandar Mitrović's time in England and Serbia's frontman heads into the Finals positively ablaze. Hot on the heels of providing the goals to fire Fulham into the Premier League, he bagged himself a hat-trick here.

Mitrović grabbed his first in just the fourth minute, getting up to meet a corner from the left and heading into the far top corner.

Serbia's second came in the 19th minute. Dušan Tadić receiving the ball down the right and breaking into the area before playing the ball back to Adem Ljajić to finish first time under the keeper's dive from around ten yards.

Ljajić turned provider in the 23rd minute. Playing in Mitrović in the right-hand side of the box. Not much subtlety in the finish as the big man simply smashed the ball home.

In the 42nd minute it was four. Lovely goal this one. Serbia playing head tennis amongst themselves in the area before Mitrović provided an overhead kick cross towards the back post. Ready and waiting to smash home first time on the volley was Branislav Ivanović.

Having shown precisely nothing from an attacking point of view in the first half, it was a little surprising when Bolivia got one back in the 48th minute. Breaking quickly on the counter, Jhasmani Campos still had work to do when he received the ball moving into the area. He finished really well though, turning the last defender inside out before prodding past the keeper into the bottom left corner.

Mitrovic then grabbed his hat-trick in the 68th minute, and he saved the best until last. Picking the ball up in the Bolivian half, he drove towards goal before unleashing a 25-yard rocket into the top right corner.

And that's how it finished as Serbia pick up a nice confidence boosting win headed into the finals.

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