This article was written by Hrishikesh Sridhar
History in the World Cup
Having failed to qualify for the last three major tournaments , Serbia have qualified this time around as Group winners. In their most recent appearance at a world cup in 2010, they beat Germany 1-0 but still crashed out at the Group Stage after losing to Ghana and Australia.
The Serbians have won 6 , drawn 2 and lost 2 of their last 10 games , scoring 17 and conceding 8. However , they arrive in Russia with a new manager,Mladen Krstajic who has only been in charge for two friendlies after Slavoljub Muslin, who was in charge of their successful qualification campaign was sacked. It remains to be seen if the new manager has had enough time to assess the squad and whether he knows who his best 11 are.
Goalkeepers – Marko Dmitrovic, Predrag Rajkovic, Vladimir Stojkovic
Defenders – Dusan Basta, Branislav Ivanovic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Nikola Maksimovic, Matija Nastasic, Ivan Obradovic, Antoinio Rukavina, Dusko Tosic, Milos Veljkovic
Midfielders – Marko Grujic, Filip Kostic, Adem Ljajic, Nemanja Maksimovic, Nemanja Matic, Luka Milivojevic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Dusan Tadic, Andrija Zivkovic
Forwards – Aleksandr Mitrovic, Aleksandr Prijovic
Sergej Milinkovic Savic: After he was left out by the previous manager , Muslin because he didn’t fit into a 3-4-3 formation , he will be given a chance to shine under the new manager. He has had an outstanding season at club level with Lazio , scoring 15 goals and providing 6 assists. His tackling , passing and goal threat have been some of the key features of an exciting Lazio side. He will have to shoulder the creative burden along with Dusan Tadic as Serbia attempt to qualify from a potentially tricky group.
FIFA : Current - 35
Highest - 6
ELO : Current - 24
Highest - 4
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