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WC Qualification Europe

  • 26 March 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Stadion Karađorđe, Novi Sad
  • Referee: I. Vad II
  • • Attendance: 10000
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Serbia - Scotland Preview: Fletcher out as Tartan Army seek first win in Group A

Serbia - Scotland Preview: Fletcher out as Tartan Army seek first win in Group A

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Gordon Strachan's side will be without the Sunderland frontman as they travel to Belgrade to take on a team who, like themselves, have little more than pride to play for

  PROBABLE LINEUPS


SERBIA


Brkic

Ivanovic, Subotic, Bisevac, Nastasic
Djuricic, Radovanovic,
Stevanovic, Djuricic, Tosic
Djordjevic
SCOTLAND

McGregor
Hutton, Mulgrew, Caldwell, Hanley
Burke, McArthur, Adam, Commons
Naismith, Rhodes

Serbia coach Sinisa Mihajlovic fielded a team lacking in experience against Croatia on Friday. The squad, however, have picked up no new injuries and will likely retain its shape.

Alexander Kolarov could be replaced by Matija Nastasic at left-back with Milan Bisevac coming in at centre-half after a poor performance in Zagreb during which the Manchester City man gifted the opposition a goal in the first half.

Gordon Strachan will be without striker Steven Fletcher (ankle), who has returned to his club. Scotland are still without a midfield trio of Darren Fletcher (bowel), James Morrison (hamstring) and Scott Brown (hip), and Kenny Miller is a doubt with suggestions that he was struggling toward the latter end of the contest with Wales. Robert Snodgrass misses out due to suspension.

Strachan may opt for two up front in this game as both his team and their opposition on the night are now effectively playing for pride, with the race to qualify for Brazil 2014 all but lost.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Since leaving Manchester United, Zoran Tosic has become a regular in the Serbia side, and the 25 year-old will win his 49th cap on Tuesday.
  • Rising star Stefan Scepovic has scored more than a goal every other game in his last two seasons in domestic football. The 23 year-old is currently on loan from FK Partisan to Ashdod and has scored four goals in his last six games.
  • Scotland winger Kris Commons has scored 13 goals for Celtic this season and one more will equal his career best.
  • Only two players in the Scotland squad have played more games for their country than Gordon Strachan: Kenny Miller (67) and Gary Caldwell (54). However, unlike their new manager, neither have played in a World Cup.

Players to watch

Z. Tošić

Position: Midfielder

Games: 8

  • 2
  • 2
  • 0
The 25 year-old has matured since leaving Old Trafford and the Premier League behind him. Since 2010 he has plied his trade on the wing for CSKA Moscow, and has scored 14 goals in 70 appearances for the club. As one of his country's more experienced internationals, his tricky play will provide an intriguing challenge for Alan Hutton.

J. Rhodes

Position: Attacker

Games: 6

  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
In the aftermath of Scotland's defeat to Wales at Hampden Park, calls have been made for a young, fresh and revitalised team to take into the next series of qualifiers for an international tournament. As one of the Football League's most prolific scorers in the last four years with 93 goals in 156 appearances, Rhodes will be at the forefront of any Scottish footballing revolution.

Editor's Prediction

With so little to choose between the teams in terms of form, it’s difficult to pick a winner in this game. However, Serbia remain 35 places ahead of Scotland in Fifa's world rankings and have home advantage, making them slight favourites. With Steven Fletcher injured, the Tartan Army may just not have enough firepower.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Serbia

Scotland

Wins
1
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Serbia SER
Serbia Serbia
Draw
Scotland SCO
Scotland Scotland
65%
15%
20%

Top 3 Predictions

Serbia SER
2 - 0
Scotland SCO
Serbia SER
2 - 1
Scotland SCO
Serbia SER
1 - 0
Scotland SCO

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