Serbia

2018 record: 2W 0D 2LΒ 

In the lead up to the tournament Mladen Krastajic has prepped his team to face Morocco, Nigeria, Chile and Bolivia.Β 

Back in March Serbia played group B competitors Morocco and were defeated 2-1 by the World Cup newcomers. Hakim Ziyech scored from the spot early before Dusan Tadic equalised eight minutes later.Β 

Only three minutes later, poor central defensive positioning allowed Ziyech to cross to the back post for Khalif BoutaΓ―b to head home the eventual winner in the 40th minute.Β 

Serbia's Sergej Milinkovic Savic (R) kicks the ball past Chile's Sebastian Vegas

The Eagles worked on their shape and bounced back to Victory against Nigeria to close out the march friendlies, keeping a clean sheet in the process in a 2-0 victory. 23-year old striker Aleksander Mitrovic nabbed a brace against the Super Eagles as he emerged as Krastajic's first choice frontman.Β 

Before travelling to the Kaliningrad region of Svetlogorsk for their World Cup camp, two more opponents were to collide with Serbia. The Eagles ended March with some optimism but a 1-nil loss to Chile with moments to go dented the morale of the squad come June.Β 

However, in true Serbian unpredictability, they bounced back against Bolivia slamming the South Americans 5-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Mitrovic.

Branislav Ivanovic equalled the all-time appearance record for Serbia with his 103rd against Bolivia and capped it off with a goal.Β 

Serbia's first group match is against Costa Rica on Sunday 17th June.

BrazilΒ 

2018 record: 4W 0D 0L

TIte's Brazil were always going to have their name thrown into mix for at least a semi-final spot and their pre-World Cup form is indicating a red hot Seleção come the start of the tournament. 

They began in March with a match against the tournament hosts Russia, comfortably dealing with the shoddy MC's 3-0 thanks to a 13 minute triple salvo in the second half.

Gabriel Jesus of Brazil fights for a ball with Sebastian Prodl of Austria

Just days later more confidence was built as Brazil vanquished some ghosts from the past with a 1-0 friendly win over Germany. Youngster Gabriel Jesus scored the winning goal with a close range header in the first half.Β 

The March friendlies were positive but storm clouds still loomed over the Brazil camp with superstar Neymar still uncertain over his fitness for the World Cup after a metatarsal fracture whilst at Paris Saint-Germain.Β 

All worries were washed away when his recovery accelerated and was named in the World Cup squad back in May and was set to play in the month of the tournament. Brazil travelled to Anfield to face Croatia as Neymar was on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win.Β 

They finished off their World Cup preparations against Austria, keeping another clean sheet in a 3-nil win as Tite's extremely fluid attacking philosophy reigned supreme.Β 

Brazil's first match is their most important against Switzerland on Monday 18th June. Tite would be looking to make a statement with plenty of goals to open the tournament.Β