BELGRADE - Avoiding defeat against
Northern Ireland in Belfast would be a good result for
injury-hit Serbia in a crunch Euro 2012 Group C qualifier on
September 2, coach Vladimir Petrovic said on Friday.
With defender Nemanja Vidic, striker Nikola Zigic and winger
Milos Krasic on the sidelines, Petrovic named several fringe
players in his 24-man squad to face Northern Ireland and Faroe
Islands in Belgrade on September 6.
"If we get a draw in Belfast and beat the Faroes in
Belgrade, which we have to, we will stay in contention for a
runners-up finish and hence a play-off berth," Petrovic told a
"Some of the players who broke into the squad represent
Serbia's future and they have made tremedous progress in the
past year or so," he said.
"We know what to expect in Belfast - a full house of noisy
home fans and a difficult match, but if all goes well we will
have our fate in our own hands ahead of the final group match
Ajax Amsterdam's in-form forward Miralem Sulejmani should
win a place in the starting line-up against Northern Ireland
while Partizan Belgrade winger Nemanja Tomic is also likely to
play some part.
Italy lead the group with 16 points from six matches, five
more than Slovenia who have played a game more. Third-placed
Northern Ireland have nine points from six games, followed by
Serbia on eight from six.
The winners of Europe's nine qualifying groups and the best
second-placed team will qualify automatically for next year's
finals in Poland and Ukraine, while the other eight runners-up
enter a two-leg playoff for the remaining four berths.
Goalkeepers: Bojan Jorgancevic (Ghent), Damir Kahriman
(Tavriya Simferopol), Bojan Saranov (Maccabi Haifa).
Defenders: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Nenad Tomovic
(Lecce), Milan Vilotic (Red Star Belgrade), Milan Bisevac (Paris
Saint-Germain), Nenad Subotic (Borussia Dortmund), Aleksandar
Kolarov (Manchester City), Dusko Tosic (Red Star Belgrade),
Slobodan Rajkovic (Hamburg SV)
Midfielders: Dejan Stankovic (Inter Milan), Zdravko
Kuzmanovic (Vfb Stuttgart), Radosav Petrovic (Blackburn Rovers),
Ljubomir Fejsa (Olympiakos Piraeus), Milos Ninkovic (Dynamo
Kiev), Nemanja Tomic (Partizan Belgrade), Zoran Tosic (CSKA
Moscow), Adem Ljajic (Fiorentina), Miralem Sulejmani (Ajax
Amsterdam), Milan Jovanovic (Anderlecht).
Strikers: Marko Pantelic (Olympiakos Piraeus), Jovan
Damjanovic (Borac Cacak), Ranko Despotovic (Urawa Red Diamonds).
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