Branislav Ivanovic says Wales are the best team in World Cup 2018 qualification Group D “on paper” ahead of Serbia trip to Cardiff.
Serbia are the current pacesetters with seven points from three games, with goal difference keeping them above the Republic of Ireland, but a defeat to Wales would see Chris Coleman’s men leapfrog them.
Chelsea defender Ivanovic feels Serbia will have to be at their best in Cardiff if they are to avoid defeat, and he highlighted Real Madrid star Gareth Bale as the hosts’ biggest threat.
Bale has managed three of Wales’ seven goals in qualification so far and Ivanovic believes Serbia will have to find a way to keep the forward quiet.
“Wales is on paper the best team in our group,” he told the Daily Mail. “Bale is their first-team star, everything revolves around him.
But they progressed as a team, they have continuity. “In the last three or four years they made a lot of success, they have not lost at home for a long time, they play very well.
This will be the most difficult game for us.” Serbia are 3.10 to secure a win on Saturday and a draw can be backed at 3.25.
Wales are 2.40 to return to winning ways after successive draws with Austria and Georgia while Bale is 3.75 to score the first goal of the game.