Serbia is a young nation on the World Cup stage, having been part of the former Yugoslavia through various diplomatic periods in the country’s history before partaking in its first tournament in its current visage in 2010.
But for all the talent that the nation continues to produce, Serbia have struggled at the World Cup and failed to make it out of the group in both 2010 as well as 2018, while missing out on the 2014 instalment entirely.
But a vaunted forward line and plenty of midfield talent make Serbia a difficult customer this time around - as they so often have been labelled on paper - though this winter could be a different version with recent results in the UEFA Nations League as well as World Cup qualifying proving their quality.
Winning promotion to Nations League A after a fantastic cycle this year while also outstripping Portugal in WC Qualifying, Serbia are a dark horse contender without debate.
Serbia World Cup 2022 Tips
Read the latest Serbia odds ahead of the World Cup, including their odds to win the tournament, odds to claim the golden boot, 101 Great Goals’ top tip and more 2022 World Cup predictions and tips.
Serbia World Cup Predictions
Serbia have been a tricky side to beat for a number of years now. As proven by their success in the Nations League and in qualifying, they are a force to be reckoned with and can beat pretty much any team on their day. While it might be out of their reach to go all the way, a strikeforce of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Luka Jovic and Dusan Vlahovic is up there with the best in the competition.
Serbia Golden Boot Prediction
Vlahovic has to compete with Mitrovic and Jovic for game time but he rapid rise in the last couple of years marks him out as one to watch this year. If Serbia get off to a good start, he could have a good run of it and it would be no surprise to see him get his name on the scoresheet - despite a tough group comprising of Brazil, Switzerland and Cameroon.
A former Yugoslavia captain who captained at two World Cups in his playing days, Stojkovic is a well-known and popular figure in the region. He has only been in charge of the Serbia national team for 18 months, but has already shown that he is up to the challenge with a 65% win rate - notching notable wins over Portugal, Norway and Sweden en route to the World Cup. He has a very talented squad of players to choose from and despite only overseeing 20 games to date, is the longest serving manager in terms of matches since Radomir Antic in 2008-2010.
Total appearances: 13 (including as Yugoslavia)
First qualification: 1930
Most recent: 2018
Best achievement: Fourth place (1930, 1962)
World Ranking: 21
Overall record: P46, W18, D8, L20
Now a wily old veteran, Tadić remains a key figure at AFC Ajax and the national team, with his creativity and technical craft very much at the forefront of his game. Capable of playing as a 10, eight, or on the flank - and even in a false nine role - Tadic gives tactical options while offering plenty of attacking threat.
A mammoth presence in midfield for Lazio in Serie A, Milinković-Savić is one of the lesser spoken central options that is set to take center stage in Qatar, and his ability to find goals while creating key chances from the heart of midfield will take some of the pressure off those in front of him in what might be the nations best chance for a deep run on the big stage.
Say what you will about Mitrović and how he has historically struggled in the Premier League - until this season - after his arrival from RSC Anderlecht, but the FK Partizan academy product has always shown up at the time of asking for his country, which is reflected in his status at Serbia’s all-time leading goalscorer. With the form he is currently in, his partnership with Dušan Vlahović could be one of the most credible of any nation on display.
101′s Serbia World Cup Tip
101 Great Goals thinks that Serbia are certainly going to be up against it just to get out of their group, but their style will cause problems for any team and we think they could progress. Once through, they could beat any side on their day, but we think the round of 16 will be their limit.
Serbia stats, fixtures and results
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