FIFA World Cup 2018 Group E Prediction

World Cup joint-favourites Brazil will be expected to qualify as winners of Group E. The five-time champions qualified as winners of the South American section

Group E

The Selecao will face Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica – the latter having reached the quarter-finals as the surprise package of the last World Cup, in Brazil, in 2014.

Read on for the fixtures, group odds and forecasts in Group E….

Teams

Brazil

  • Qualified as winners of the South American section, bouncing back from an opening-round defeat to go unbeaten in their next 17 games and finish ten points clear in first place.
  • Key Players: Brazil are sweating over the fitness of their superstar striker Neymar, after his debut season with Paris Saint-Germain was cut short by a fractured metatarsal. Aged just 26, he already has more than 50 international goals. In qualifying, however, it was Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus who top scored with seven to Neymar’s six. Providing further options up front is in-form Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino, while Brazil are blessed with midfield options – Willian, Paulinho (who also scored six times in qualifying), Fernandinho and Philippe Coutinho are all set to be in the Brazil squad.
  • Last five results:
    • W
    • W
    • D
    • W
    • W
  • Odds to win the tournament: 9/2 (Bet365)

Switzerland

  • Qualified as winners of European Group G, winning nine and drawing one of their ten games
  • Key Players: Haris Seferovic scored four times in qualifying, while Bologna midfielder Blerin Dzemaili has been in the international goals of late. Stoke striker Xherdan Shaqiri has shown flashes of brilliance despite his team’s poor season, while Juventus’ Stephan Lichsteiner provides stacks of experience in defence.
  • Last five results:
    • L
    • W
    • D
    • W
    • W
  • Odds to win the tournament: 100/1 (Bet365)

Costa Rica

  • Qualified as runners-up of the final North American qualifying group behind Mexico.
  • Key Players: Captain Bryan Ruiz scored two crucial goals in Costa Rica’s run to the quarter-finals last time out, and leads Los Ticos again this year. Celso Borges, like Ruiz, has more than 100 international caps. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas is in goal, while Costa Rica will hope to have Joel Campbell fit again up front.
  • Last five results:
    • L
    • L
    • L
    • W
    • L
  • Odds to win the tournament: 500/1 (Bet365)

Serbia

  • Qualified as winners of the European Group D, at the expense of Ireland and Wales.
  • Key Players: After inspiring Roma to exceed expectations in the Champions League this season, former Premier League title winner Aleksandar Kolarov leads Serbia into the World Cup. Aleksandar Mitrovic was the Serb’s top scorer in qualifying with six goals, and he has been in brilliant goalscoring form for Fulham since signing on loan in January. Serbia boast an experienced squad, with Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic also set to be involved. At the other end of the scale, big things are expected of 23-year-old Sergej Milinkovic-Savic after a strong season with Lazio in Serie A.
  • Last five results:
    • W
    • W
    • D
    • L
    • W
  • Odds to win the tournament: 200/1 (Bet365)

Group E Fixtures

Costa Rica

VS12:00 GMTJune 17th

Cosmos Arena, Samara

Serbia

Brazil

VS18:00 GMTJune 17th

Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don

Switzerland

Brazil

VS12:00 GMTJune 22nd

Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg

Costa Rica

Serbia

VS18:00 GMTJune 22nd

Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad

Switzerland

Serbia

VS18:00 GMTJune 27th

Otkritie Arena, Moscow

Brazil

Switzerland

VS18:00 GMTJune 27th

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod

Costa Rica

Group E Betting Tips & Prediction

Group Betting

Unsurprisingly Brazil are big favourites top Group E – and indeed will need to if they are to avoid a likely second-round clash with Germany.

Given their form in qualifying, Brazil are a fair price at 2/7 to win Group E. Switzerland also impressed in qualifying, but are 6/1 to top the group – a reflection of both Brazil’s superiority and Switzerland falling short in their qualifying group too.

Serbia are 8/1 to win Group E, while Costa Rica – despite their form at the last World Cup – are 18/1 to win the group.

Group Qualification Yes/No

You will find little value in backing Brazil to qualify from Group E – they are as low as 1/16, which is no surprise given they are expected to reach the final.

The second qualifying spot is where it gets interesting, with Switzerland at evens, Serbia at 6/5 and Costa Rica – quarter-finalists in Brazil four years ago – available to back at 7/2.

Switzerland have made it out of the group stages in two of the last three tournaments, and the one they did not manage to get through was 2010, when they had beaten eventual champions Spain in the opening game.

Their World Cup pedigree is stronger than Serbia’s, and evens is a generous price for them to go through.

Costa Rica were the surprise team last time out, and qualified relatively comfortably this year, but Los Ticos have a tough group – as they did four years ago, in fairness – and will need to do very well to repeat those heroics.

Group Forecast

Backing Brazil to win the group returns little value, therefore, and you can still get relatively high odds on the second team to qualify from Group E. Those odds do improve slightly if you combine the two into a group forecast bet, however.

Bet365 are offering 7/4 on 1st – Brazil, 2nd – Switzerland, while the equivalent bet with Serbia second is 9/4. Switzerland’s impressive qualifying campaign, where they won their first nine matches, should stand them in good stead and they have a recent history of some good World Cup results.

To Finish Bottom of Group

With Switzerland and Serbia expected to battle it out for the second qualifying spit in Group E, Costa Rica are odds-on favourites to finish bottom of the group.

That may seem unfair given their run to the quarter-finals four years ago, but they are nevertheless outsiders for all three matches. Lightning is not likely to strike twice, and a price of 4/6 from Bet365 on Costa Rica finishing bottom of Group E seems fair.

Group E Recommended Bet

It would be a huge surprise if Brazil did not top Group E, so any bet on the second team to qualify is effectively a prediction they will finish second. As a result, backing a forecast with Brazil first and your chosen other second will return a greater profit if it comes to pass. Switzerland have the calibre to go through behind Brazil, and a 1st – Brazil, 2nd – Switzerland group forecast is 7/4 with Bet365.

Group E prediction

Brazil (7/4 to finish 1st with Switzerland 2nd with Bet365)

Switzerland (evens to qualify with Bet365)

Serbia (4/6 to fail to qualify with Bet365)

Costa Rica (4/6 to finish bottom with Bet365)

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