Switzerland and Serbia meet on Friday in what is effectively another World Cup group-stage knockout match.
With Brazil set to top Group G unless they suffer an upset against Cameroon, the two European sides meeting in this decider know only can pass into the last-16.
A point should do for Switzerland, unless Cameroon shock the favourites, whereas at least a victory is required for Serbia in Doha.
The Swiss have made the World Cup last-16 on four of their last five appearances at the tournament – although have not won a knockout tie since 1954.
Date, kick-off time and venue
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Serbia vs Switzerland is scheduled for a 7pm GMT kick-off on Friday December 2, 2022.
The match will take place at Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar.
Serbia team news
Serbia face an anxious wait over key defender Strahinja Pavlovic ahead of the crucial clash.
The centre-back was forced to come off in the 3-3 draw against Cameroon with an injury but is hopeful he can recover in time. If he fails to make it, Stefan Mitrovic is expected to deputise.
Serbia predicted lineup vs Switzerland
Serbia Starting 11 (3-4-2-1): V Milinkovic-Savic; Pavlovic, Milenkovic, Veljkovic; Zivkovic, Maksimovic, Lukic, Kostic; S Milinkovic-Savic, Tadic; A Mitrovic
Bench: Dmitrović, Rajković, Jović, Vlahović, Eraković, S Mitrović, Babić, Mladenović, Radonjić, Gudelj, Uroš Račić, Filip Đuričić, Lazović, Ivan Ilić, Marko Grujić
Switzerland team news
Switzerland may recall the experienced Xherdan Shaqiri for the game against Serbia with Fabian Rieder most likely to drop out.
They do not have any major fitness doubts going into the match so will almost certainly go with their tried and trusted formula.
Switzerland predicted lineup vs Serbia
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Switzerland Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Freuler; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo
Bench: Omlin, Kobel, Köhn, Seferović, Cömert, Schär, Fernandes, Zakaria, Steffen, Aebischer, Fassnacht, Frei, Rieder, Jashari
Serbia still have a fighting chance of progressing to the knockout stages, but they will be disappointed not to be in a better position heading into the final game.
In the opener, the Eagles fell to an expected defeat against Brazil, managing to hold the star-studded side off for quite some time, but a second-half Richarlison brace ensured that they took nothing from the match.
Despite the result, Dragan Stojkovic’s side could still have been in a far better position, had they just beaten Cameroon in their last game, and at one point they looked almost certain victors against the African side.
After Jean-Charles Castelletto opened the scoring for the opposition, goals from Strahinja Pavlovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic meant that Serbia went in at the break with a 2-1 lead.
Aleksandar Mitrovic added a third shortly after the restart, but two goals in quick succession from the Indomitable Lions mean that nothing but a win is good enough for Serbia, and even that would not grant them progression automatically, as it will come down to goal difference if Cameroon beat Brazil.
Switzerland are in a very good position to progress to the knockout stages, courtesy of a 1-0 victory against Cameroon in their first game in Group G.
Breel Embolo scored the only goal of the game early on in the second half, securing a vital three points for his national side against the country of his birth.
That remains the only goal that Nati have managed to conjure up in their opening two games, falling to a 1-0 defeat against Brazil in their last match, despite holding them out for the majority of the game.
Casemiro struck late to deny Murat Yakin’s side an important point, but they are still in a very strong position at present, only needing to avoid defeat, unless Cameroon beat Brazil.
However, Ecuador were in the same position as Switzerland on Tuesday, as they only needed to avoid a defeat against Senegal to secure progression, which should serve as a reminder to Yakin’s players that there is still work to be done.
Serbia vs Switzerland score prediction
It’s essentially a knockout game, so we can probably expect a feisty occasion.
Just to add to the mix, there is also some political history between the nations that is relevant to a couple of key players in the Switzerland squad. Serbia, meanwhile, are never afraid to make things physical at the best of times.
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It’s two evenly-matched teams on paper, though, so it will come down to whose top players handle the occasion better. Traditionally, that has always been Switzerland, so they will likely edge it again – just as they did at the 2018 World Cup.
Prediction: Serbia 1-2 Switzerland