Serbia vs. England Prediction: Euro 2024 Favorites Begin Campaign

Written by: Greg Lea
Published June 14, 2024
6 min read
  • Euro 2024 favorites England will get the ball rolling against Serbia on Sunday

  • Gareth Southgate’s side are under pressure to go deep in the tournament

  • Serbia are battling for a top-two finish in Group C and a place in the last 16

Serbia vs. England Odds

The odds for Serbia vs. England are taken from the FanDuel Sportsbook. Sign up today at FanDuel and claim $200 in bonus bets with your initial winning wager. Find more details in our Euro 2024 Betting Guide.

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Serbia vs. England Pick

There are question marks over the England defense and Serbia could take advantage this weekend. Go for both teams to score.

Bet on Both Teams to Score (+102) at FanDuel 

Euro 2024 Serbia vs England Prediction

England Still Have Questions to Answer Despite Favorites Tag

With the tournament fast approaching, the best online sportsbooks still have England down as favorites to win Euro 2024, with France not far behind. Yet after a 1-0 defeat by Iceland in a warm-up friendly last Friday, the mood around the national team has taken a hit. England will be looking to get back on track when they begin their campaign against Serbia on Sunday.

There is no doubt that Gareth Southgate has done a better job than most of his predecessors as England manager. He exceeded expectations at the 2018 World Cup, taking the Three Lions to a fourth-place finish. At Euro 2020 England finished as runners-up after losing the final to Italy on penalties. It was the first time they had reached the final of a European Championship.

England could only manage a quarter-final berth at the World Cup in Qatar 18 months, yet they performed well in a 2-1 defeat by France and could easily have won that match. And their current squad is certainly not short of talent: it is possible to argue that they can call upon the best players in Germany (Harry Kane), Spain (Jude Bellingham) and England (Phil Foden).

Even so, the loss to Iceland was a setback, especially as Southgate’s side managed only one shot on target. Despite his achievements up to now, there are some among the England fan base who feel Southgate has been kept on for too long. His in-game acumen has come into question in the past, most notably in the Euro 2020 final when England became too passive after taking the lead.

There are also worries over the balance of the side. The defense in particular looks vulnerable. The right-footed Kieran Trippier will start at left-back on Sunday, with Marc Guehi a relatively untested partner for John Stones at centre-half. Jordan Pickford, the goalkeeper, plays for a club in Everton that have been battling relegation in recent years.

Still, a strong showing here would give England a lift as they seek to win a major trophy on foreign soil for the first time ever.

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Serbia Looking to Improve on Disappointing World Cup

Hopes were high in the Serbia camp ahead of World Cup 2022, but a tally of one point from a possible nine saw them fall at the first hurdle. An attack-minded Serbia side scored more goals than any other team in their group, yet they still finished behind Brazil, Switzerland, and Cameroon.

Expectations are lower this time around. That is not because the team lacks gifted footballers. Aleksandr Mitrovic is a prolific scorer, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Dusan Tadic are creative forces in behind, and wing-backs Filip Kostic and Andrija Zivkovic provide thrust down the flanks.

There are doubts over the collective chemistry within the ranks. Serbia are so often less than the sum of their parts. Dragan Stojkovic was a fine player in his day, but as a manager, he has not always convinced with his tactical nous. Many Serbian supporters have turned against him and would rather the national team was being led by someone else this summer.

For all the negativity, it would be a mistake to assume Serbia cannot get out of the group. The four third-place finishers with the best records will join the winners and runners-up in the round of 16. In some cases, a solitary victory will likely be enough to extend a team’s participation beyond the group phase.

In the shorter term, this game against England represents a difficult start to the Euro 2024 campaign for Serbia. Anything they get on Sunday, you feel, would be seen as a bonus by Stojkovic and co.

England’s Defense Will Be Tested by Serbia’s Attack Here

Although we expect England to find a way to win at the Veltins-Arena, they will not necessarily have everything their own way. For the reasons we will explain below, both teams to score is an attractive pick for the last game taking place on Sunday.

First, England’s defense is clearly the weak point of the team. Harry Maguire has had a difficult few years at club level, but he has generally performed well for England. His absence makes the team weaker, especially as the aforementioned Guehi - a promising centre-back but one who plays for a mid-table team in Crystal Palace - does not have much of a relationship with Stones.

The exact makeup of the midfield is unknown. Kobbie Mainoo struggled against Iceland, so Conor Gallagher is likely to partner Declan Rice here. Neither player does his best work as a holder in the engine room.

As for Serbia, there is no doubt that they are better going forward than they are at the back. Stojkovic is the type of manager who encourages his team to commit bodies to attack whenever possible, and that could yield some success in terms of breaching England’s backline.

That sort of strategy may also leave Serbia too open defensively, but there are enough reasons to back goals at both ends.

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How to Watch Serbia vs. England

  • Teams: Serbia vs. England

  • Location: Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

  • Date and Time: Sunday, June 16 at 3:00 PM ET 

  • How to Watch: Fox Sports, fuboTV


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Greg Lea

Soccer Betting Analyst

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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.
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