World Cup team preview: Serbia

Serbia

Serbia will be looking to make it past the knockout stages along with Brazil in Group E as they make a return to the World Cup in Russia.

Mladen Krstajic’s team heads to the World Cup with a fairly balanced squad with a number of big name players that ply their trade for some of the top clubs in Europe.

Among them is Manchester United Nemanja Matic, Roma’s Aleksandar Kolarov, who is the captain of the team and there is also Crystal Palace captain, Luka Milivojevic.

Serbia

The trio will be expected to play a leading role if their country is to have a successful campaign in Russia.

The Eagles make a return to the global showpiece after missing the 2014 edition in Brazil and also had a poor campaign in South Africa eight years ago.

Krstajic, who worked as the assistant coach when the qualifying campaign started, took over the reins from Slavoljub Muslin.

Muslin was sacked after the Eagles went through a rough patch during the qualifiers having come under-fire for poor tactics and poor selection of players though Serbia still managed to win the group that had Republic of Ireland and Wales.

Serbia has always managed to produce top class players, but has struggled to shine as a country in major football competitions.

Making it past the group stages in a group that has Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland will be a huge achievement for the Eagles.

Serbia World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (FK Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Aleksandar Jovanovic (AGF), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar)
Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Uros Spajic (Anderlecht), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Dusko Tosic (Besiktas), Matija Nastasic (Schalke), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina).

Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Marko Grujic (Cardiff City), Nemanja Maksimovic (Valencia), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Mijat Gacinovic (Eintracht), Filip Kostic (Hamburger SV), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Adem Ljajic (Torino).

Forwards: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Thessaloniki), Luka Jovic (Eintracht Frankfurt).

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