This will be a second straight World Cup appearance for Serbia, after failing to get past the first round four years ago. They did a fine job going through the qualification phase, and now have bigger ambitions to deal with as the tournament is inching closer.
Serbia World Cup Squad 2022
For a long time Serbia had the talent, but not the results necessary to manage high expectations from their fans when it comes to their football national team. But, this time around things feels and look different, as Serbia has some players that are having a leading role for their teams in some of the biggest and toughest leagues in Europe.
In Dragan Stojkovic, their legendary player, Serbia found its perfect coach. Someone that has earned respect, and will make sure that every player is acting according to the rules of the national team. That is something which hasn't been there before. Serbia won a qualification group with Portugal as their most dangerous opponent and earned 20 points getting first place. It seems that the Serbs finally have found their footing, playing exciting football, being fearless against the toughest of opponents, as well as taking their chances when they occur. Many will agree that this World Cup will be the perfect chance for Serbia to make its mark in football history.
Serbia's roster is filled with talent as we look into the final 26-man squad manager Dragan Stojkovic chose on the eve of the World Cup.
- Marko Dmitrovic (Sevilla)
- Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (Torino)
- Predrag Rajkovic (Mallorca)
Serbia has two proven goalkeepers in Rajkovic and Dmitrovic, and Stojkovic shouldn't have much to think about when deciding how he will approach the goalkeeping position, although Milinkovic-Savic was the first choice in latest matches.
Serbia has enough talent in the back line to make sure Stojkovic has options to consider against some of the best forwards in the world that will show up for Brazil which is one of their opponents in Qatar. Stefan Mitrovic and Milos Veljkovic will get a chance to shine as well, next to Milenkovic. When choosing who will start the most important matches, Stojkovic will think about the level of readiness, and confidence that took a fresh turn for the better during the qualification period for this year's World Cup.
- Stefan Mitrovic (Getafe)
- Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina)
- Strahinja Pavlovic (RB Salzburg)
- Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen)
- Filip Mladenovic (Legia Warsaw)
- Strahinja Erakovic (Red Star Belgrade)
- Srdjan Babic (Almeria)
Nikola Milenkovic is the most experienced defender. He has played for the past five years for Fiorentina and is an integral part of that team. Milenkovic is a staple in Stojkovic's formation and will be essential for their chances at the World Cup. How important he is to Serbia showed four years ago when he was their best performer.
Serbia's midfield will revolve around the captain and the nation's most capped player Dusan Tadic. The Ajax player hasn't been his best self this season, facing a lot of criticism, he will most likely play in his final World Cup. Even though his form for Ajax hasn't been great, it's hard to imagine Serbia without Tadic leading the team. Tadic is the captain, he is the one that has the respect of the entire team, especially after everything he achieved playing for Ajax all these years.
- Nemanja Gudelj (Sevilla)
- Dusan Tadic (Ajax)
- 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)
- Darko Lazovic (Hellas Verona)
- Nemanja Radonjic (Torino)
- Filip Duricic (Sampdoria)
However, the midfield pairing of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic with Filip Kostic will decide what happens with Serbia's chances at the World Cup. It may sound presumptuous, but both of them are high-quality players for Lazio and Juventus, respectively, and will lead Serbia's midfield in Qatar. What is special about the way they connect on the field is their high football IQ which is visible in how they choose what to do with the ball at the right moments. These are the small things that could become crucial during the tournament in Qatar. Some experienced players have played in top leagues like Maksimovic or Radonjic, they won't shy away from the biggest stage.
Serbia is going to have one of the best forward duos at the World Cup. Aleksandar Mitrovic proved himself in the best league in the world. Last season he scored 43 goals in 44 matches for Fulham in the Championship, and this season he scored eight goals in the Premier League.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)
- Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)
- Luka Jovic (Fiorentina)
Alongside Mitrovic, there will be a £70m man Dusan Vlahovic from Juventus. He is only 22 years old, and already one of the best at his position in the world. Last season, Mitrovic and Vlahovic combined for a total of 72 goals. If something should happen to the two prolific strikers, Dragan Stojkovic has Luka Jovic to back them up.
Key players for Serbia
Mitrovic is playing in the best form of his life, scoring with a high-efficiency rating. He will be a real threat to the opposing defenses, and whether he can maintain his goalscoring prowess will decide Serbia's fate in many ways. Recently, Mitrovic became the first player in his nation's history to score 50 goals for the national team.
The popular SMS midfielder from Lazio has been a subject of transfer speculation for a few years now, but he remains a member of Lazio. He is Serbia's most prolific midfield player and will be the man that gives his nation the biggest boost of confidence.
He may not be the best player in the Serbia squad, but he is certainly their talisman. Tadic is one of those players who can create opportunities from different sides of the field. One reaction is enough to make an instant change in the outcome of the match. Stojkovic will count on his experience, and his football IQ to provide stability inside his team.
Group G: How Did Serbia Perform at World Cup?
Serbia tried manfully to stop Brazil from playing in their opening group game and it worked for the most part. However, once Richarlison gave Brazil the lead in the second-half, Serbia had to start pushing forward in search of an equaliser and this only left more space for Brazil, and Richarlison, to score a second. Then, Serbia and Cameroon played out an epic 3-3 draw in the second round, leaving Serbia to chase a win against Switzerland. And, just like four years ago in Russia, Switzerland got the best of Serbia and beat them 3-2 in a thrilling game, sending Serbia home with one disappointing point in their bags.
Matchday 1: Brazil 2-0 Serbia
Matchday 2: Cameroon 3-3 Serbia
Matchday 3: Serbia 2-3 Switzerland
Final Standings: Group G
Important information about Serbia
What was the last World Cup outcome for Serbia?
In 2018 they didn't advance past the group stage.
When will they open their account in Qatar?
Serbia will face Brazil on November 24th.
Who is Serbia's most capped player?
Dusan Tadic with 90 caps.
What are Serbia's odds to win the World Cup?
Betfred is giving a 90/1 chance for Serbia to win the tournament.