Serbia: Three players to keep an eye on at the 2018 World Cup


Initial thoughts on the roster: Head coach Mladen Krstajić has brought in a real interesting group of young and experienced players with five over the age of 30 and seven under the age of 22. While it might have made sense to go veteran-heavy, given their group pairings (Brazil, Costa Rica, and Switzerland) remember Serbia won the 2015 under-20 World Cup. A lot is expected of the next generation of players and so this will be a great chance to give these players some experience.

Vladimir Stojković (Goalkeeper, 34, Partizan Belgrade)

To be a goalkeeper in a group with the likes of Brazil, Costa Rica, and Switzerland you have to have nerves of steel and be cool under pressure. We think playing for both Partizan and Red Star in Serbia means that Vladimir Stojkovic can handle what is to come in Russia. He was the 2017 Serbian player of the year after a fantastic season for Partizan and for his three clean sheets during qualification. Serbia is going to be under immense pressure in Group E and they are going to need a quality effort from Stojkovic every match if they are to advance.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Midfielder, 23, Lazio)

We talked quite a bit about him during our three hopes, one fear preview but it bears worth repeating again: This guy is incredible. From his one-touch passes to his dribbling in tight spaces, to his defensive work. He proved last season with Lazio that he can play at the top levels of Europe and drag a team that has been down on their luck back into relevancy. He is not much of a goal-scorer but he can create shots for others, as evidenced by his Bronze Ball award at the 2015 under-20 World Cup.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Forward, 23, Newcastle United)

Let’s get this out of the way right now: The writer of this article is a Newcastle United supporter and Mr. Mitrovic has not exactly performed well for The Toon Army. He came into the club under much fervor and excitement but quite frankly he hasn’t delivered (At this point feel free to blame owner Mike Ashley for buying players that don’t fit Rafa Benitez’s style. It’s ok. We all do).  But he did have quite a good season with Fulham on loan, scoring 12 goals in 17 appearances. Serbian supporters would love to see him continue that form with their side in Russia. He scored six goals during qualification and just ripped a hat trick off of Bolivia during a friendly so he seems to be in-form.

Chicago Fire

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