FIFA World Cup Today Matches


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FIFA World Cup Qualifications (UEFA Group A) Preview: Croatia vs. Serbia

Croatia

 

The first-half goals from Mario Mandžukić and Ivica Olić earned home side Croatia their first Group A win over Serbia 2-0 last March 22 for the FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifications. This September 7, the sides will meet up again to finish the home-away rule set for the tournament.  Serbia will play as home this time around, with the match to be held at the Stadion Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade.

 

Current standing put Croatia and Serbia in tight placements, with the former ranked second and the latter, third. But when particular scores are taken into consideration, Croatia make for a sizable nine-point lead: 16 versus 7.

 

Their form in the Qualifications

Serbia and Croatia have both played in the WC Qualifications a total of seven times. Of this number, the Igor Štimac-led team (Croatia) seem to have maximized their tourneys much more effectively than their rivals. The side’s Group A performances produced five healthy wins, one draw, and one defeat. By comparison, Siniša Mihajlović’s men (Serbia) have posted only two wins out of their seven WC Qualifications matches. Their victory over Wales 6-1 and Scotland 2-0 were massive successes, but these paled when their four excruciating defeats were taken into account. The remaining match was a draw.

 

Potential match outcome

Although Croatia and Serbia are ranked close to each other, they are not the ones having neck-and-neck competition in UEFA Group A. Serbia, the third placers, are a relatively minor threat to Croatia. Belgium, the current top placers, are the ones that side are aiming to topple, which are ahead of them by just three points (overall score: 19pts.). Therefore, Serbia have a little chance of overtaking Croatia, and both records and statistics can precisely substantiate this claim.

 

Croatia | Image source: nytimes.com

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