FIFA World Cup Brazil vs Serbia: Do or die for Brazil against Serbia
12:00 AM, June 27, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:55 AM, June 27, 2018

Do or die for Brazil against Serbia


Brazil may have been one of the big disappointments so far at the Russia World Cup, but the pressure is on their opponents Serbia in their final Group E match in Moscow on Wednesday.

Brazil, whose only defeats by the Balkan side came against the old Yugoslavia in 1930 and 1934, need just a draw to secure qualification for the last 16. For Serbia, who will want to be masters of their own fate, a win would guarantee their progress, although a draw could see them through if the Swiss are beaten by Costa Rica by more than one goal in the other group game.

Brazil come into the game under fire at home after poor performances in their first two games and full back Fagner believes the pressure is a result of their own spectacular showing leading up to the tournament, a period in which they lost only one match in 21, scoring 47 goals and conceding five.

"I believe that because of all we did in the qualifiers and friendlies there is a huge expectation that we win our games," Fagner told reporters at Brazil's training camp. "Our opponents prepare well to neutralise us, but I think as games go on we will create chances either with plays from The Professor (coach Tite) or through our own improvisations. Each result and win generates more confidence."

Brazil are expected to be unchanged from the side that beat Costa Rica, although their biggest opponent may be themselves. The five-times World Cup winners have been criticised at home with striker Neymar bearing the brunt of the opprobrium.

The most expensive player in the world has not lived up to the hype and broke down in tears after the last-gasp win over Costa Rica but Fagner brushed off suggestions that the pressure was already having an effect on Tite's side and said it was a natural reaction to their own high standards.

2018 FIFA World Cup Brazil Vs Serbia
Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (2nd from R) will be the creative presence in midfield ahead of destroyer Nemanja Matic (R) as they aim for a win that will see them through at Brazil's expense. PHOTO: AFP

At Nizhny Novgorod, Switzerland will be searching for the point that will guarantee their place in the last 16 and also looking to put a political storm behind them.

A win or draw for the Swiss against an already eliminated Costa Rica would book their ticket in the knockout stages.

A big victory could mean them taking the group and potentially setting up a clash with Germany in the last 16, providing the stuttering World Cup holders emerge from Group F. And if Brazil beat Serbia, the Swiss will go through even if they lose to Costa Rica.

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