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Serbia v Switzerland: World Cup 2022 – live | World Cup 2022


Key events

10 min Serbia hit the post! Andrija Zivkovic gallops into space and unleashes a shot from distance which rattles the upright. The rebound falls for Aleksandar Mitrovic, but he can only guide the ball into Kobel’s arms at close range.

4 min Serbia win the first corner of the game and Nikola Milenkovic gets a free header, but fails to direct it on target.

1 min We’re not even 30 seconds into the match and Vanja Milinkovic-Savic has been called upon to make a double save. Xherdan Shaqiri latches onto a loose ball and dinks a pass over the top to Breel Embolo, who is denied at close range. Granit Xhaka has a go on the rebound, but Milinkovic-Savic throws his body in the way once again.

Breel Embolo goes close for the swiss!
Breel Embolo goes close for the swiss! Photograph: Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images

Kick off!

We’re under way in Ras Abu Aboud. Switzerland get things started.

The national anthems are over and done with. The giant Serbian and Swiss flags have been folded up. The tracksuits are off. The ball is on the centre circle. These are all unmistakable signs that a football match is about to begin.

The teams are in the tunnel. We’ve got a little over five minutes until kick off.

Jim Fullton writes in, effortlessly showing off his linguistic prowess. “Hopp Schwiiz. Allez la Suisse. Avanti Svizzera.”

Switzerland have given an update on Yann Sommer and Nico Elvedi, neither of whom are in the squad tonight despite having started the last two games. There’s a simple explanation, namely that they are both ill. Gregor Kobel, the Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper, and Fabian Schär, the Newcastle United centre-back, will stand in for them.

We have our first bit of email correspondence. Hello, Matt Burtz! “As someone who may or may not have placed a wager on Switzerland to advance from this group, I would like to see them win today. Also, I have a season ticket to the Chicago Fire, and I can report that even though MLS is not of the quality of many European leagues, Xherdan Shaqiri still has it at the relatively young age of 31. Watching him in person allows you to see the way he always tries to make himself available for a pass, and he always has his head up looking to distribute. It’s really quite enjoyable (even if the team itself isn’t especially potent).”

Here’s some more background on the human cost of this World Cup, courtesy of Pete Pattisson.

‘Built on exploitation’: the real price of the Qatar World Cup – video explainer

Switzerland team news

… and here’s the Swiss starting XI.

Serbia team news

The team sheets are in and here’s how Serbia line up.

Beyond the football

As Qatar’s PR machine clunks along in the background, the stories of those who have suffered to make this tournament happen remain as important as ever. Here’s some pre-match reading.

Preamble

Deep within the nightmarish fever dream of this World Cup, another football match is taking shape. After a 2-0 defeat to Brazil and a chaotic 3-3 draw with Cameroon, Serbia arrive at Stadium 974 knowing they can only salvage their campaign with a win combined with a draw or defeat for the Cameroonians against Brazil. For Switzerland, who are on three points with one win and one loss, a draw will be enough to finish as runners-up as long as Cameroon don’t cause an upset. As if this tournament needed another point of contention, there are political tensions bubbling beneath the surface of this fixture: several Switzerland players have Albanian or Bosnian heritage which, given the bitter legacy of the Yugoslav Wars, means a game against Serbia has the potential for acrimony.





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