Serbia vs Moldova by DamirJ
In quite an difficult group, Serbia did well so far having three victories and three draws. It's nothing remarkable, but the teams look very similar in this group as they have Ireland, Wales and Austria as main rivals for the placement to Russia, so such record for now is just fine as the side stands first in the group together with Ireland with twelve points, which is four points more than Wales and Austria on third and fourth position.
In such situation, matches against two weakest sides in the group, Georgia and Moldova are must win for the other nations, so a match against Moldova for Serbia is a must win in order to keep the chances high for the first position. In the most recent game, the team took just a point in a 1:1 home match against Wales, being generally better during the match, but creating very little dangerous situation despite majority of ball possession during the ninety minutes.
In comparison to previous few call-ups, defnder Dusko Tosic (19/1, Besiktas) and midfielders Lazar Markovic (22/3, Liverpool) and Aleksandar Ignjovski (12/0, Freiburg) won't be part of the team.
Moldova, on the other side, can't do much more in such group but to seek a chance to end up in front of fifth placed Georgia, as it's really hard to see them staying competitive against first four quite strong sides for their level. That's exactly what happened, since they lost all four matches against favorites sides, taking two draws against Georgia so far in the process - 2:2 in front of own fans and a 1:1 draw on the road.
For now, they have two points which is a point less than Georgia and it's hard to expect them getting (m)any point(s) till the end, especially as long as they meet against sides which are still battling for qualification. In the most recent game, the side had a 2:2 draw at home against Georgia in the middle of June, entering the match better and taking the double lead in first halftime via goals from Ginsari in 15th and Dedov in 36th minute, while the players from Georgia upped their game in the second halftime and leveled up via goals from Merebashvili in Qaziashvili being actually a better side and being close to revert the scoreline completely till the end.
In comparison to previous few call-ups, goalkeeper Ilie Cebanu (25/0, Zimbru), defenders Victor Golovatenco (82/4, Zaria Balti), Igor Armas (51/4, Anzhi), midfielder Alexandru Gatcan (55/5, Rostov) and forward Igor Picusceac (24/3, no club) are not playing in this one.
Given handicap may look like a bit big, however Serbia already managed to win over Moldova with three goals difference in October last year. The home team is having decent atmosphere and already need to think about possibility of second placed rankings and increase their chances with a bigger margin victory here. They also have a difficult match ahead of themselves in Ireland, but I'm completely confident that they can overcome this obstacle with more than a couple of goals margin.