Serbia vs Switzerland, FIFA World Cup 2018, Match 26 at Kaliningrad Stadium: Live football score

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic named an unchanged side for Friday's Group E match against Serbia after his side earned a creditable draw with five-time winners Brazil in their World Cup opener.

Serbia, who won their first game against Costa Rica thanks to a stunning free-kick from captain Aleksandar Kolarov, made one change for the match in Kaliningrad, with winger Adem Ljajic making way for Hamburg's Filip Kostic.

Switzerland's forward Xherdan Shaqiri and Serbia's Nemanja Matic. AFP

Switzerland's forward Xherdan Shaqiri and Serbia's Nemanja Matic. AFP

Serbia can clinch their knockout round place by beating the Swiss on Friday. This would then spare them the terrifying prospect of needing a result in the their final group match against five-time world champions Brazil.

Valon Behrami, who marshalled Brazil's star forward Neymar for much of the night in Rostov-on-Don, was fit enough to start after recovering from a hamstring niggle.

He will likely be charged with negating the threat from Serbia's rising star, Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The rangy playmaker has drawn comparisons to Serbian legend Dejan Stankovic and has reportedly attracted the interest of Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Serbia, who embrace a physical style of play, promise to bring familiar aggression to the match, led by their Manchester United enforcer Nemanja Matic.

The industrious Swiss will also not shy away from a tough confrontation but their coach Petkovic indicated his team will depend just as much on pace as tenacious tackling to get the job done.

Either way, Serbia are going to stick to their strengths and game plan.

Serbia will also have the advantage of playing what amounts to a home game in what is forecast to be testing rainy and windy conditions.

The only team based in this Russian enclave, Serbia have set up home base at the nearby resort town of Svetlogorsk while the Swiss made a long flight from their headquarters two time zones away in Togliatti.

Serbia

Vladimir Stojkovic; Branislav Ivanovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Dusko Tosic, Aleksandar Kolarov; Dusan Tadic, Nemanja Matic, Luka Milivojevic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Filip Kostic; Aleksandar Mitrovic

Coach: Mladen Krstajic (SRB)

Switzerland

Yann Sommer; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Fabian Schaer, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez; Xherdan Shaqiri, Valon Behrami, Granit Xhaka, Blerim Dzemaili, Steven Zuber; Haris Seferovic

Coach: Vladimir Petkovic (SUI)

Referee: Felix Brych (GER)

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jun 23, 2018 00:08 AM

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