Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic are included in Serbia’s World Cup squad despite struggling with groin and ankle injuries, as boss Dragan Stojkovic gambles on his star strike duo’s fitness for Qatar
- Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic were both named in Serbia’s squad
- Juventus striker Vlahovic has missed four matches due to a groin problem
- Meanwhile, Fulham’s Mitrovic sat out last weekend’s match with an ankle injury
- Dragan Stojkovic’s team open their campaign against Brazil on November 24
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Two key parts of Serbia’s frontline – Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic – have been included in their 26-man World Cup squad despite current injury problems.
Vlahovic has missed his last four matches with Juventus because of a groin problem. He hasn’t played since the Serie A side was eliminated from the Champions League with a loss at Benfica on October 25.
The 22-year-old scored 50 goals in all competitions with Fiorentina and Juventus over the past two seasons.
Mitrovic, another prolific scorer, could provide quite a strike duo with Vlahovic – although the Fulham striker is currently sidelined with an ankle injury.
Dusan Vlahovic is in Serbia’s World Cup squad despite missing matches due to a groin problem
Goalkeepers: Marko Dmitrovic (Sevilla), Predrag Rajkovic (Mallorca), Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (Torino)
Defenders: Stefan Mitrovic (Red Star Belgrade), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina), Strahinja Pavlovic (Salzburg), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Filip Mladenovic (Legia Warsaw), Strahinja Erakovic (Red Star Belgrade), Srdan Babic (Almeria)
Midfielders: Nemanja Gudelj (Sevilla), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Sasa Lukic (Torino), Marko Grujic (Porto), Filip Kostic (Juventus), Uros Racic (Braga), Nemanja Maksimovic (Getafe), Ivan Ilic (Hellas Verona), Andrija Zivkovic (PAOK Thessaloniki), Darko Lazovic (Hellas Verona)
Forwards: Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus), Filip Duricic (Sampdoria), Luka Jovic (Fiorentina), Nemanja Radonjic (Torino)
Mitrovic missed the Cottagers’ defeat at Manchester City last weekend, and Fulham manager Marco Silva confirmed on Friday that he will be absent for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United.
Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic is prepared to wait for the pair to be healthy.
Also included for Serbia was Filip Kostic, who has been providing assists for Vlahovic with both Juventus and the national team.
In a 26-man team featuring 11 players from Serie A, Serbia’s midfield is led by Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Other Serbian midfielders currently plying their trade in Italy’s top flight include Torino’s Sasa Lukic, and Hellas Verona pair Ivan Ilic and Darko Lazovic.
Mitrovic is the only player in Serbia’s squad who currently plays their club football in England, although former Southampton forward Dusan Tadic – now at Dutch club Ajax – is the country’s captain.
Serbia opens against Group G favorite Brazil on November 24, before playing Cameroon four days later. They face Switzerland in the final group game on December 2, and if they get into the top two, they will then enter the tournament’s knock-out phase.
As a standalone country, Serbia has failed to make it out of the group stage at either of the two previous World Cups it has qualified for in 2010 and 2018.
FIFA considers Serbia the official successor of the Yugoslavia team, which achieved a best placed finish of 4th in the inaugural tournament in 1930, and the 1962 World Cup which was held in Chile.
Stojkovic’s current Serbia side will play a pre-tournament friendly against Bahrain next Friday, before travelling to Qatar for the start of the tournament.
Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic missed the club’s match last weekend due to an ankle problem
Serbia manager Dragan Stojkovic will lead them against Brazil, Cameroon and Switzerland
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