SERBIA – MONTENEGRO: Brotherhood fights for first place (15h00 – COMPLETE)


Serbia play Montenegro today, the first of two decisive matches to be played in League B of the Nations League and an additional chance to opt out of EP 2020.

PHOTO: I. Veselinov

The historical duel – the second part. Just over a month after the first interaction between the forces in Podgorica, Serbia and Montenegro will fight today in Belgrade for points that are worth first place in the fourth group of Division C of the League of Nations. Representatives of the two countries are even more known each other than in October, they are motivated to show that in the former state community there are players whose quality can attract a much more successful soccer nation.

The Eagles would come close to securing the EP 2020 against one of the champions of the other "same-category" groups, and in the next round of this competition, they would target the rivals of division B. On Tuesday, no one even mentioned Litvanci , the last opponent, especially as they lost the chances of avoiding the phenomenal position.

Tickets 300, 600, 800

Tickets for the price of 300 (North and South), 600 (East) and 800 (Western Table) dinar will be sold today in the treasures of the "Rajko Mitic" stadium.

In addition to two months ago, 12,000 tickets were distributed to elementary and middle school students in Serbia. The departure is expected to be attended by 20,000 people.

Mladen Krstajic, the Serbian selector, is easier than before the clash in Podgorica. The first expert of our national team has at his disposal a more experienced team compared to the first duel with Hockey, with the game in the previous two games being better and for the last two exams in front of the public of Belgrade gives the right to optimism .

"We had big problems the last time we could not count on Matić, Kolarov and Ljajić. The absence of these three players was a major disadvantage. They would mean a lot to any other national team. We show character in Podgorica. We were exposed to a lot of pressure, especially since it was said before the game that we could hardly get three points. I have confidence in this team, we welcome each match with winning ambitions, regardless of the composition. I feel that every day we are progressing in every way. We all grew up with this team, we have many experienced players and young people representing the future of Serbian football – say Krstajić.

Not in any of the three matches in the League of Nations, Serbia was not the strongest. All available forces for the dial are not available until today's meeting. Sergei Milinkovic-Savic and a goalie Marko Dmitrovic because of injuries, they did not even make a date, Filip Kostić operated two teeth and is also not combined for duels with Montenegrins and Lithuanians.

– Ljubomir Fejsa had problems with the game, he is still in therapy, he started working with the team, but surely we can rely on him in the first game.

However, Sokolov's problems are greater, especially due to a smaller selection of players. Stevan Young I Stefan Savić The larger the selector accessories Ljubiša Tumbaković and without them in the team Serbia is more favorable than before the previous round with the old countries.

– I followed the events of the Montenegro team, I know they will miss some players. Coaching and life is such that we need to find other solutions, resort to ready players and try to form a team capable of accomplishing tasks.

Mladen Krstajić I Ljubiša Tumbaković the second time they will be on the opposite banks. The Serbian selector was more successful in Podgorica, but as before this pair, with much respect, he talks about a specialist who is extremely responsible for his development and games at Partizan, which also influenced a remarkable foreign career.

– Tumbaković, I will repeat, I will never call my colleague because he was for me and continued to be a boss. I'm just seeing it this way. With all due respect for him as a man and selector, I believe in my team, the power of the guys we've been meeting lately. We can take a step forward and reach the defined goal.

In the Mondial in Russia, as well as in the duel with Romania in Bucharest, Mladen Krstajić he did not decide to try out tandem attackers, two Aleksandra, Mitrovic I Prijovića. Now it seems that the initial eleven with a certain better Eagle shooter is closer Luka Jović, the most effective player in the Bundesliga and the most deserving place for our young national team in the European Championship.

– It is important for us that a large number of players play in the standard way in the clubs and that they are the players of the game or important screws of their team. It is very important that we leave Montenegro on the ground as it should always be. We may have changed the tactics that we have been preparing lately because we have good players in certain positions and suitable substitutions for them. Maybe we decide on training that is not expected. As the selector changed the composition 13,14 times, it is possible that for the first time we will change tactics, not because of Montenegro, but because of the characteristics of our players. That possibility is a luxury to me, maybe a little problem, because there are guys who hope to have a chance.

Montenegro is stronger than Lithuania, the difference between the two games is only two days and it is not easy to prepare players for both games.

"A short distance between matches is not just a problem for me and my team of experts, but for each selector of the League of Nations. The last time we had less time until the first game. UEFA has set standards, we have to respect them and so we are doing some things quickly. Thank God the players understand this and adjust to the situation – he concluded Krstajić.

Serbia finished first in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Orlove won two more victories in the remaining 180 minutes of the highest position in the League of Nations, important as the wind on the back before qualifying for the unbeaten continental championship for our national team since 2000.

Ljubiša TumbakovićThe coach of the national team of Montenegro was well positioned before training in the largest Serb stradion. Unlike some previous conferences of guest selections that were not so covered by the media, the press center in Marakana was filled almost to the last place.

He was a somewhat experienced unusual strategist, who in this role was again in a place where he already had big and successful duels for points with Paris against the Red Star, but he pointed out that he expected another positive result.

– I keep good memories for this stadium. I do not know exactly, but I think I've been here 18 times and won mainly with my team. It seems to me that we have two cups here. I respect the great rivals in whose stadium we play, I'm even happy about it, but I admit that I'd rather be on the other side. To play in the Partizan – he pointed Ljubiša Tumbaković, the national team coach of Montenegro.

Montenegro can correct the impression of the first game, however, you can not rely on the majority of players?

"It's not Podgorica's problem, but an impression that we do not go out. We just want to be better now.

How to set up a game without so many important players?

– Injuries, cards affect us, we prepare a new team of the game in the match. All the players I invited on the other side know the requirements of the game and again we will try to get the result. We made a good move. This is a team of 27 players, but the external factor affects us. I hope we can play well.

Eighth time against former compatriots

Serbia is going now for the eighth time to evaluate the forces with the selection of the former Yugoslav republic. The balance is negative, the Eagles have two wins, two draws and three losses.

Twice our team played with Croatia (0: 2, 1: 1 – 2013), Slovenia (1: 1, 0: 1 – 2010 and 2011) and Macedonia (0: 1, 5: 0 – 2013).

Today's match will be the second against Montenegro, the match in Podgorica on 11 October ended with the victory of our national team with 2: 0.

How difficult was it for you to prepare this match against that of Podgorica?

– It was not difficult to prepare this game. Although this kind of work requires patience. Our goals are clear and now we want to achieve this. With a group of players who are now looking for positive results. I respect the players who are not there, but even more those who are present now.

What do you think about the selection of Serbia will be stronger compared to the duel in Podgorica, considering that they are returning Matic I Kolarov?

– Serbia is definitely a strong representation, created in two cycles. Almost all of the team was in SP. Serbia has a much larger selection of our players. And when it happens that someone can not play, there are some suitable substitutions there. Kolarov and Matic will give a secure seal. Serbia has shown what it wants to accomplish. It was seen in October.

The media has been constantly talking about relations between the two countries, the policy will be interconnected, this can affect the players?

"There's no room for that story. We who are engaged in the profession and the players gave no special meaning to it. I try to focus my attention on fraternal and sports relationships. Emotions are not divided, but they are sports.

Would you be satisfied with the point?

"There is not a coach who is satisfied with the point, and I mostly won for my great fortune. Let's try to impose, but it has two dimensions. Serbia is stronger for Matic and Kolar. When Manchester City are on the pitch, it is clear that Serbia has safety. He can play well on defensive tasks, move forward, enter. Who will dominate the field depends on the player's disadvantage and mood.

It seems that your victory against Romania is also necessary?

– I am a good mathematician, and mathematics has no end and is very simple, you win and you reached your goal. Everyone can win the first or third with a win in our group. It's clear then what we have to do.

You can not rely on Stojkovic, Jovetic, Tomasevic, Vukcevic I Savić, is it an opportunity for the younger ones?

– We want to make an interesting match, but there will be room for the younger players. I do not want to discover the 11 initials, but I must say I have a dilemma. In addition to Bećir, everyone is healthy, Tomašević has not even arrived – he concluded Tumbaković.

You never know who the public is in Podgorica or Belgrade

Ljubisa Tumbaković gave an interesting answer to the question, whether he expects a full stadium, or how many Montenegro fans will be in the stadium "Rajko Mitić":

You never know who the public is in Podgorica or Belgrade. There are so many Montenegrins in Belgrade and Belgrade in Montenegro that are hardly known. It would be nice if the stadium was full, I would love to. The public support during the game has a certain part, and does not have to mean anything – with a smile, he said Tumbaković.


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