Closer Look At Serbia For The World Cup

Soccer
via Pexels / CC0

SERBIA topped their UEFA Nations League group and finished above Portugal in their FIFA World Cup qualification group.

Serbia had its World Cup debut back in 2010 but has not reached the heights they hoped for.

They have qualified for two World Cups as Serbia so far but failed to make it past the group stage.

They are having what is arguably the most successful time in their brief history and many expect them to make it through the group stage in NetBet Sport. In which they will face Brazil, Switzerland, and Cameroon.

Dragan Stojkovic is the current manager. He has been in charge since 2021. His team has won 13 of 20 of his 20 games under his direction so far.

His team is a mix of youth and experienced, so let’s see how they perform on the pitch.

Predicted Start XI

They usually have a line of three at the back. They used a 3-4-2-1 system in many recent Nations League matches. Aleksandar Mitrovic was the only player.

He has also tried 3-5-2, which allows Dusan Vlahovic to join Mitrovic in an attack to create a terrifying partnership.

It is not clear who will be the number one goalkeeper, but Vanja Mikovic-Savic should be considered first, although Predrag Rajkovic may be a regular.

It is likely that we will see Milos Veljkovic (Stefan Mitrovic) and Strahinja Pavlovic (back three), with Filip Kostic, Andrija Zivkovic, and Strahinja Pavlovic in the wings.

Attacking Phase

Serbia has been historically a team that relies on the physical aspect of the game more than the technical.

They are a team who likes to be in the attacking third, as you can see.

Serbia will be looking to make progress with confidence and a strong presence higher up the pitch.

They are patient in their approach to playing, which has enabled them to bring more players forward.

Serbia will attack with wingers and rely on its physical presence in the box.

Serbia will attack from the widest possible range and make use of its physical presence inside the box.

They have good variation in their approach to the midfield against deeper defenses, but their wing play remains their end game.

This Serbian team is also known for its physicality and aerial superiority.

Serbia will attack fast and break down lines wherever possible.

This example illustrates the tactical aspects of both previous examples. This is Serbia’s invitation to play whatever they want, with the opposition in their own half.

As Kostic finds himself in incredible amounts of space, a line-breaking pass is made into Kostic. This gives Serbia the opportunity to attack the next level.

This is a Serbian strength: Recognizing a chance, taking advantage of opposition downfalls, and punishing any mistakes.

The winger can pick out a cross with clever movement in the box.

Serbian players are more open and flexible with clever movements inside the box.

Their attack from there is simple but precise and highly effective.

Every player shows an incredible understanding of the tactics and each other’s roles. The attack ends with a clean cut-back cross before the ball is buried into the net.

Serbia is direct in its attacking approach but not in the sense that they just throw the ball around.

Phase defensive

We have seen that the Serbian tactics require a certain amount of energy.

They look for ways to crush the opposition out of fear.

There are still questions about their defensive work. While some stats are positive, there are still areas where they need to improve.

Their defensive system’s strength will be put to the test in the first match against Brazil.

Transitions

Serbia’s attacks are based on quick breaks after they regain possession.

Serbia will be looking to quickly break when they regain possession.

The story is told by the reactions of every Serbian player and all those who were in the vicinity of the center circle after they have won possession.

The team is determined to take advantage of any weakness and hit the opposition fast.

Serbia is able to make it very difficult for disorganized opponents to shut down the move or mark runners when there are multiple runners.

They could be one the most deadly counterattacking teams in this year’s World Cup because of their aggressive attack players.

Attackers

Serbia’s attack is perhaps the most predictable of all the competition.

However, Serbia lacks depth below Mitrovic and Vlahovic.

Midfielders

Some notable names were not included in recent fixtures or they did not feature as often as one would have expected.

Sergej Milinkovic–Savic’s creativity and solid nature are unquestionable. However, they have other midfield names that they could bring in with a tactical change.

Filip Duricic, Ivan Ilic, and other players who were part of recent fixtures will provide another dynamic from the bench. Filip Kostic is also a prominent name.

Defenders

Expect to see the regulars Pavlovic, Stefan Mitrovic, and Veljkovic form the line of three defenders.

Strahinja Erakovic, Nikola Milenkovic, and Strahinja Erakovic are the main contenders for squad spots. Both have participated in Nations League and World Cup qualifiers victories.

Key Player

There are many reasons why players like Dusan Vahovic and Dusan Tadic could be considered key players in Serbia. Aleksandar Mitrovic should make the difference.

His aggressive play style could help the Serbians in many areas. Additionally, his link-up play and the wingers could play a major role in any success they achieve.