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World Cup: Serbia Preview

Serbia was the surprise qualifying group team in Europe, but can the Balkan nation make any noise in their very first World Cup appearance?

Serbia was lucky not to be in a stacked group, as they are with soccer giant Germany, Ghana, and Australia.

Bovada has Serbia at +6600 to win the World Cup and at +375 to win Group D.

Serbia may have a very tough time beating Germany, but they have a good shot, and will likely be the favorites, when they face Australia and Ghana.

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Ok, so I mentioned Serbia was a surprise and I mean that because they won their World Cup qualifying group finishing ahead of 2006 finalist France and killed a solid Romanian team 5-0 in Belgrade no less.

The major strength of Serbia is their defense led by the solid duo of Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United and Branislav Ivanovic. They will be tough to score on and that showed in qualifying matches. Winger Milos Krasic of CSKA Moscow and Milan Jovanovic of Standard Leige are both lighting fast players that will be dangerous, especially if the Serbian defense is on the counter-attack. 

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The weakness of the Serbian squad is in the central midfield, as they will need to score that up, especially before they face Germany, who has one of the best midfields in the world. Their lack of a go-to striker is also a concern, as even though the aforementioned wingers are solid they will need someone to step up and bury some goals.

Head coach Radomir Antic has had success at the club level and is seen as a father figure to the Serbian players. He is a stern coach that will have to manage his team well, especially since their reserve unit is a major concern for the squad.

Serbia has a great defense, but their World Cup this summer may come down to how their offense plays.

When Serbia plays Germany they will be the underdog and that will be a tough match to win, but they have a good chance to beat Ghana and Australia and come in second place in the group and advance to the playoffs.

Serbia World Cup Schedule

6/13/2010 Serbia vs. Ghana
6/18/2010 Germany vs. Serbia
6/23/2010 Australia vs. Serbia