Friday 30 September 2016

Serbians name powerful squad despite Matic ban

John Fallon

Published 19/08/2016 | 02:30

Serbia's captain Branislav Ivanovic Photo: Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images
Serbia's captain Branislav Ivanovic Photo: Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images

Even without two mainstays through suspension, Serbia were yesterday able to unveil a quality squad for the opening World Cup qualifier against Ireland on Monday week.

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Nemanja Matic and Aleksandar Kolarov are carrying over bans from the last failed campaign, yet five other English-based players - including Liverpool pair Marko Grujic and Lazar Markovic - were named by Slavoljub Muslin for his first competitive fixture in charge.

Captain Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea, Dusan Tadic from Southampton and Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic are amongst the 26-man squad.

Hopes are high in the Serbian camp of ending a qualification drought which was extended to three tournaments following their most recent failure.

"We have analysed Ireland and they are a serious team as they showed at the European Championships," said Muslin, who will visit Dublin for Ireland's friendly against Oman five days before their competitive meeting in Belgrade.

Irish Independent

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