I THINK Bosnia are going to be one of the success stories of this World Cup.


Outright odds: 150/1

To win group: 7/1

To qualify: 4/5


Full squad: Asmir Begovic (Stoke), Jasmin Fejzic (Aalen), Asmir Avdukic (Toronto Raptors), Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Luhansk), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg), Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz), Tino-Sven Susic (Hajduk Split), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhou Renhe), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyespor), Avdija Vrsajevic (Hajduk Split), Vedad Ibisevic (Stuttgart), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Edin Visca (Istanbul Buyuksehir).

Manager: Safet Susic

World Cup record: First-time qualifiers

How they qualified (most recent first): Bosnia finished top of European qualifying Group G courtesy of a better goal difference than second-placed Greece.

v Lithuania (away) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Ibisevic 68

v Liechtenstein (home) 4-1 (HT 4-0) Dzeko 27, 39, Misimovic 34, Ibisevic 38

v Slovakia (away) 2-1 (HT 0-1) Bicakcic 70, Hajrovic 78

v Slovakia (home) 0-1 (HT 0-0)

v Latvia (away) 5-0 (HT 0-0) Lulic 48, Ibisevic 53, Medunjanin 63, Pjanic 80, Dzeko 82

v Greece (home) 3-1 (HT 2-0) Dzeko 29, 53, Ibisevic 36

v Lithuania (home) 3-0 (HT 3-0) Ibisevic 29, Dzeko 35, Pjanic 41

v Greece (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Latvia (home) 4-1 (HT 2-1) Misimovic 12, 54, Pjanic 44, Dzeko 90+2

v Liechtenstein (away) 8-1 (HT 4-0) Misimovic 26, 31, Ibisevic, 33, 39, 82, Dzeko 46, 64, 80

Goalscorers: The main man in qualifying for Bosnia was Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko with 10 goals. Vedad Ibisevic netted nine and Zvjevdan Misimovic bagged five.

Half-time/full-time: Five of Bosnia's eight wins came from winning positions at half-time. Their one defeat came after being level at 0-0 with Slovakia at the break but the return match saw them recover from a 1-0 half-time deficit to claim victory. Only two of the 10 qualifiers were goalless at the end of the opening period.

Clean sheets: Bosnia kept six clean sheets in their 10 qualifiers. The away clash with Greece was goalless and much of the credit for the impressive rear-guard effort goes to goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Win to nil: The other five clean sheets resulted in wins to nil. Slovakia and Liechtenstein (who conceded 12 goals in their two defeats) were the only nations to score two goals in their two clashes with Bosnia.

Cards: Bosnia behaved very well in qualifying with no red cards and only eight bookings accumulated from 10 games. A caution wasn't collected in half of their matches.

Other competitive internationals: None since qualifying began.

Build-up (most recent first): Well beaten by Argentina in November, Bosnia all suffered a disappointing post-qualifying loss to Egypt. However, Ivory Coast were seen off in the first of Bosnia's warm-up games.

v Ivory Coast (neutral) 2-1 (HT 1-0) Dzeko 17, 53

v Egypt (neutral) 0-2 (HT 0-0)

v Argentina (neutral) 0-2 (HT 0-1)


Team verdict: I think Bosnia are going to be one of the success stories of this World Cup.

They have qualified for the tournament for the first time and a spot in Brazil offers a good news story for a country that has been hit by war and continuing troubles.

This is a team for the nation to be proud of and I fully expect Bosnia to pip Nigeria to second in Group F and join Argentina in the last 16.

In the knockout stages Bosnia would then face the winners of Group E - in my view the weakest section with Ecuador, France, Honduras and Switzerland the competitors - so the current odds of 5/1 available for them to be eliminated in the quarter-finals when opposition gets tougher is making appeal to me.

They certainly wouldn't be 5/1 to make it through a clash with any of those four Group E sides when the last 16 match odds are released.

Bosnia have stars in attack - Edin Dzeko, Vedad Ibisevic and Miralem Pjanic the main figures - and their defensive record is also good with six clean sheets in their 10 qualifiers.

Taking a look at Safet Susic's side to concede the fewest goals in Group F at 4/1 is well worth considering. Argentina will top the standings but their defensive record is pretty mediocre.

The Bosnian I would pay closest attention to from a betting perspective is Dzeko.

You could also go one step further by getting the 14/1 for Dzeko to be the Premier League player with the most goals.

There are question marks because of disrupted campaigns and lingering injuries over rivals like Aguero, Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie so there is a big chance for Dzeko to make his mark.