Wales vs Serbia by Luke
Even though Wales started the new qualifying campaign with a 4:0 victory at home over Moldova, their next results didn't completely fullfill the nations hopes. Their draw away to Austria was a decent result, but nobody expected them to get only a point in a home match against Georgia 1:1 last time the team played a month ago.
The game actually started well for them, since the team took the lead in tenth minute with a goal from Bale, but weren't as dominant as they probably should have in the rest of the match. They were somehow satisfied with the lead and didn't try much, while the punishment came in 57th minute via goal from Okriashvili. Wales tried to attack again and they did, but lost the fluency of the game and failed to reinstall their lead. After three matches played, with a victory and two draws, the team stands at third position, having two points less than leaders from Serbia and Ireland. They need to win this one badly, but knowing that the draw can't be regarded as a negative outcome as well.
Ben Davies and James Collins have withdrawn from the squad and were replaced by Adam Matthews and Joe Waslh. With these two defenders out, Paul Dummett will probably be included into the defensive trio. Wales should be playing in 3-5-2 formation with Bale and Vokes as forwards.
Serbia still has a lot of to prove and to improve, but the team looks much better under the new coach Muslin. After a 2:2 draw against one of the favorites to reach World Cup 2018 Ireland at home, team looked a bit better in next two matches, in 3:0 victory over Moldova away from home and in a 3:2 victory at home over Austria last month.
At the same time, it must be said that they were lucky in a match against Austrians, since the visitors looked somehow more dominant on the field, but the Serbian side exploited their chances well and looked very concrete in offense. They took the lead twice via Mitrovic, while Sabitzer and Janko were replying, but Tadic scored the winning goal in 74th minute. Serbs are now first at the table and need to continue with positive results, knowing that
Nemanja Matic has not featured in first three rounds and the player will surely be back in the team for such an important game. Serbia should be playing here in 3-4-3 formation, most likely will Tadic and Kostic on the wings, plus in-form Mitrovic as central striker.
Game comes as very important one, but I'm sure that neither of the teams will behave like they're satisfied with a point. Knowing that both sides have plenty of things to fix in defensive lineup, while they do have quality in offensive part, I see the game being quite an open one. Value is definitely on both teams scoring here in quite open game and it wouldn't surprise me if wee see three goals way before the full time whistle.