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Old June 22, 2010, 12:19 PM
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al-Sagar al-Sagar is offline
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Default Australia v Serbia

Discipline required to seal progress

With both sides suffering some discipline issues so far this tournament, the time for cool heads is now as both sides have a mathematical chance of getting through. If Germany lose, then whoever wins this match will take the second spot behind Ghana, so there is all to play for.

Serbia will certainly be favourites as they upset the odds to beat ten-man Germany - although they rode their luck and had a missed penalty to thank for their win. A strong spine of established players like Nikola Zigic, Milos Krasic and Nemanja Vidic give them a good chance of making it to the second round.

However, the Socceroos showed their resilience in drawing 1-1 with Ghana after having Harry Kewell sent off. It was their second red card in as many games and while Kewell won't be available, they will have Tim Cahill back and raring to go after his sending off in their opener.

Australia player to watch: Brett Holman.
Having become the youngest ever goalscorer for Australia in the World Cup, beating Tim Cahill by 105 days, Holman's star is on the rise and he has become an important part of the Socceroos' setup. Strong, quick and aggressive, he could be the key to the attacking ambitions of the side.

Serbia player to watch: Dejan Stankovic. He has not fulfilled the hype he was given before the tournament, but the Inter Milan midfielder is never one to let his side down and he will make the most of the space he is afforded by the Australian midfield. His defensive role means he doesn't get as far forward as he does for his club, but he is still a threat from free-kicks and will look to give his team-mates a platform on which to build.

Key Battle: Tim Cahill v Nemanja Vidic. Having had a nice rest for a game, Cahill will be back and ready for action against the Serbs. Likely to play in an advanced attacking role, the Everton midfielder will come up against Vidic on more than one occasion and the duel in the air will be crucial. Cahill, for his height, is excellent in the air, but there are few better than Man Utd's Vidic. It will be a tough battle, but whoever wins it could impact on the result.

Australia have only ever had foreign coaches at the World Cup. Yugoslavian Rale Rasic in 1974 and Dutchmen Guus Hiddink in 2006 followed by Pim Verbeek in 2010.

The entire first-choice defence for Serbia have kept a clean sheet in six of their last ten internationals.

Odds: Australia (4.20), Serbia (1.90) and a draw (3.50) are all available at Bet 365, but Tim Cahill to score first comes in at 9.00.

Prediction: With a place in the second round potentially up for grabs, and a possible clash with England, both sides should go all-out to win and Serbia might just have too much for Australia to cope with.
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