Serbia - Romania

For home side the situation is crystal clear. One win in last two games will lead them to the final countdown in South Africa. Under the new national team coach, Radomir Antic, Serbia have made little surprising results, leaving France four points behind. And only against the France, Serbs didn’t notice a win (0-1 defeat in Paris and 1-1 draw at home). Beside all strength that Serbia have been showing (top quality performances, tactic skills and fighting spirit, finally), game against French in previous round showed some weaknesses. First goalie, Vladimir Stojkovic, has competitive games only in national team shirt, while in his club(s) usually warming a bench. He is not in full shape and it causes two outcomes. His direct errors, conceded goal against France was his gift. Second, his insecurity affects on whole defense line. However, Serbia already defeated Romania, as a visitor in Constanza 3-2, team form (and quality, dare to say) is on their side and including full motivation and sold out stadium, Serbs are favorites tonight. Coach Antic has no injury worries, only missing is reserve striker Danko Lazovic who is suspended and best eleven will play. 

Romania failed in another qualification campaign and Sout Africa will remain only as a dream. After turbulent start and plenty of “misunderstandings” on relations Piturka-players-public, national team coach got fired and new boss is talented Razvan Lucescu. Under his guidance, team has been noticing some improvement in performance. He’s also well known as a good motivator. They also were without a real motive in Paris, but put a more than decent display and stopped French (1-1 draw). So, I think it is fair to say they won’t surrender tonight before the game start. Another thing that improves their chances at Marakana is Romania will be first time complete so far in this campaign. Two probably best players, Mutu and Chivu, will play together after a while. Mutu ignores 17 mill.eur penalty, plays in a great shape and will be a big danger for hosts’ back line, while Chivu should bring some safety in front the goal. Although positive result seems too far, Romanians certainly will show a heart. They’re declared as losers from domain press and best possible way to shut ‘em up is to beat Serbia in Belgrade. I think they won’t practice “catenaccio” and will try to play. 

Well, it is sure no one in Serbia would like to leave a decision for the last round and trip to Lithuania. Better team, better shape, higher motivation, home ground and 55 000 noisy fans are the facts that should bring a win. On the other hand, odd is miserable. Mutu and Marica look as a great attacking force, Chivu is dangerous from free kicks as Rat from distance. I think it won’t be so easy as everybody in Serbia expects and although I think the home win is very probable, see bet on goals as a better option. Pinnacle offer great 2.14. Over.

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