Flat Serbia in danger of losing all qualifying momentum
Strong, organised and individually competent they may be, but Serbia are in real danger of going in to the World Cup as a side lacking in confidence and creativity as their preparations took another hit yesterday.
Raddy Antic’s side have been tipped by many to make a decent fist for the quarter-finals this summer following a qualifying campaign that saw them top a group featuring France and Romania.
But a tepid loss to New Zealand at the weekend was followed by a 0-0 draw with Poland yesterday.
Coming on the same day that Romania somehow lost to Macedonia, and just days after a disappointing France outfit only drew with Tunisia, doubts are beginning to creep in that Serbia’s qualifying form may have been misleading, and that they were simply able to take advantage of their opponents’ respective desperate situations.
With only one warm-up game remaining – a farewell game against Cameroon in front of their home fans – boss Antic will be hoping to end their goal drought and claw back some of the optimism from just over a week ago, with his side remaining at 50/1 to shock everyone in South Africa.
Another dark horse looking back to their best, however, is Paraguay, who ran out 2-0 victors over fellow finalists Greece in Switzerland.
First half goals from Enrique Vera and Lucas Barrios sealed a comfortable win, following two friendly games without one, and they are 5/2 second favourites to win Group F, with Italy set to give an idea of their progression with a game against Mexico this evening.