Wednesday 13 December 2017

Serbians name powerful squad despite Matic ban

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

John Fallon

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.

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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