Serbia Euro 2024 squad review: Magic from Mitrović?

Remarkably, this is the current iteration of the Serbian national football team's first appearance at the European Championships.

After the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia continued to play under the Yugoslav flag, and later alongside Montenegro, until 2006. With their attacking firepower, the Serbs have a case to be dark horses in 2024.

Aleksandar Mitrović will be keen to make a splash on his return to Europe – Photo by Icon Sport

Serbia will be well-tested in a tough group stage, however, and will need to pick up their mediocre qualifying form.

Serbia – Key facts

Year founded: 1992

Nickname: Kekci

Current FIFA ranking: 33

Highest FIFA ranking: 6 (1998, as FR Yugoslavia)

Year of Euro debut: 2000 (as FR Yugoslavia)

Best Euro performance: Quarter finals (2000, as FR Yugoslavia)

Player to watch: Aleksandar Mitrović

Full Serbia Euro 2024 squad

Serbia have released a 35-man preliminary squad, set to be trimmed down to 26 by the tournament's start.

Goalkeepers

Defenders

Midfielders

Attackers

Jan-Carlo Simic is an exciting young defender – Photo by Icon Sport

Surprise inclusions in Serbia Euro 2024 squad

Jan-Carlo Simić

One of a handful of uncapped players in Serbia's preliminary squad, Jan-Carlo Simić is a 19-year-old defender hoping to make his international debut and impress in friendlies against Sweden and Austria.

Simić has already made one big debut this season, making his AC Milan debut against Monza in December. He scored a goal and kept a clean sheet.

If the teenager can have a similar impact for his nation, he could have a breakout tournament in Germany.

Petar Ratkov

A surprise inclusion in the preliminary squad is Petar Ratkov. The 20-year-old striker has only played 312 minutes for RB Salzburg this season, and has scored just one goal.

Ratkov made his senior international debut in November, playing six minutes against Hungary. In truth, he will likely be cut from the 26, unless he makes a big impression in upcoming friendlies against Sweden and Austria.

In-form players for Serbia

Aleksandar Mitrović

Many supporters were disappointed to see Aleksandar Mitrović abandon his cult status at Fulham for the unbridled riches of Saudi Arabia this summer. But the move has been resoundingly successful for the 29-year-old.

He has scored 38 goals in 41 appearances for Al-Hilal, and looks set to fire his club to the Pro League title. Mitrović has always delivered for his country too, scoring a remarkable 57 goals in 89 appearances for Serbia.

Nikola Milenković

At the back, Nikola Milenković has had another strong campaign for Fiorentina.

Since joining from Partizan Belgrade as a teenager, the now-26-year-old has helped his side steadily climb the table, and will play in the Europa Conference League final.

Milenković is a physically imposing, no nonsense defender, with a knack for scoring big goals.

Dušan Tadić is his nation's creative hub – Photo by Icon Sport

Serbia Predicted Euro 2024 XI

Dragan Stojkovic has set up his nation in a 3-4-2-1 system in five of their last six games, with their only shift away resulting in a 4-0 defeat to Russia.

In goal, there is a serious competition for the number one spot, but we expect Vanja Milinković-Savić to start thanks to his vast experience.

In their back three, Nikola Milenković will likely be flanked by the adaptable Milan Gudelj and RB Salzburg's Strahinja Pavlović.

At wing back, Filip Kostić will be expected to dominate the left flank. PAOK's Andrija Živković will start at right wing-back.

Running central midfield will likely be Fulham's Saša Lukić and all-action Torino midfielder Ivan Ilić.

Despite Dušan Vlahović's solid form at Juventus' Aleksandar Mitrović is nailed on to lead the line. He will be supported by creative duo Dušan Tadić and Sergej Milinković-Savić.

Rasmus Højlund has dangerous pace – Photo by Icon Sport

Serbia vs England

(3-4-2-1)  Milinković-Savić; Pavlović, Milenković, Babić; Živković, Lukić, Gudelj, Kostić; Tadić, Milinković-Savić; Mitrović.

Serbia get off to the toughest start imaginable, facing off against England, who are the outright tournament favourites at an average of just 3/1.

As such, we expect Serbia to set up more conservatively in this opener, with Milan Gudelj moving into midfield and centre-back Srđan Babić bolstering the rear-guard.

Serbia's parked bus can be quite effective. A memorable example is how they kept Brazil at bay for well over an hour in their first game of the 2022 World Cup.

Serbia vs Slovenia

(3-4-2-1)  Milinković-Savić; Pavlović, Milenković, Gudelj; Živković, Milinković-Savić, , Kostić; Tadić, Samardžić; Mitrović.

After the defensive effort against England, we anticipate Serbia to line up a more attacking side against Slovenia.

Sergej Milinković-Savić could play a deeper role to allow Udinese creative midfielder Lazar Samardžić to come into the side.

Slovenia are no pushovers though, and come into the tournament in superior form to the Serbs.

Serbia vs Denmark

(3-4-2-1)  Milinković-Savić; Pavlović, Milenković, Gudelj; Živković, Lukić, Ilić, Kostić; Tadić, Milinković-Savić; Mitrović.

For their final, and potentially decisive, group game, Serbia take on Denmark.

The Danes are a hard-working and intelligent side, with players who can cause serious damage, potentially in transition.

Milenković and company at the back will need to keep a close eye on Rasmus Højlund.


William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.