Australia vs Serbia – Aussies relying on help from Ghana
As with five of the other World Cup 2010 Groups, Group D bounds into the final furlong without either a team already qualified, or a side already planning their journey home.
For Serbia and Australia, one match will determine their plans for the next week, which could even include the exciting possibility of a Second Round date with England.
Australia’s final group game against Croatia four years ago was no doubt confusing for many of the Aussies back home watching ‘footy’ for the very first time, as Graham Poll temporarily forgot the rules. This time around, it all seems simpler. Australia need to win and hope that Ghana beat Germany.
Serbia will also be cheering on the Black Stars in that one, a result that would enable them to qualify with a draw against the Socceroos. If Ghana and Germany themselves draw, Serbia could even win the group by picking up three points.
Harry Kewell is suspended following his sending-off against Ghana, but Tim Cahill is back from his own ban, and is likely to replace Kewell upfront.
Serbia have no new injury worries, and will be looking for Milan Jovanovic to continue where he left off against Germany, having disappointed in their opening match. Jovanovic is 7/4 to score at any time against the Aussies.
As so often is the case in the final round of group matches, events in the other game will hugely determine what happens in Nelspruit. If the Germans get a couple of early goals, Aussie heads may drop, allowing Serbia to ease into the last 16 fairly comfortably. Backing Draw/Serbia in the HT/FT market may be shrewd, and is available at 7/2.