Serbia panic over physical Eagles
Serbia coach Mladena Krstajic says his team will have to raise their game to overcome a physical battle against Nigeria in their friendly match at The Hive Stadium in London on Tuesday, but believes they can play themselves to victory.
Serbia lost 2-1 to Morocco in their Russia 2018 World Cup preparatory fixture at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino in Turin on Friday, and unhappy Eagles manager Krstajic has told his charges to go out there and beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles.
Nigeria put Poland to the sword after Victor Moses converted a penalty in their World Cup warm-up clash at the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw on Friday.
Krstajic will look to adopt a familiar 4-3-3 formation for today’s game with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic or PAOK’s Aleksandar Prijovic leading the scorer of the team’s only goal against Morocco Dusan Tadic and Filip Kostic in the attack.
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is likely to stick with the 4-4-1-1 formation which helped his team to nullify the threat of Poland’s Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski, West Brom midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak and Borussia Dortmund right-back Łukasz Piszczek against Serbia in London.
Former Werder Bremen defender Krstajic, who is desperate for a win to instil confidence in his team ahead of Russia 2018, urged them to go all out for a win.
“Nigeria have a solid team with many of the players playing for European clubs,” HotSport.rs quoted the former Schalke 04 star as saying on Monday.
“I expect a good reaction from our players and I think with good concentration, we can achieve a good result.
“I repeat, the most important thing is the result, everything else is irrelevant.”
He added, “Nigeria have a lot of good players, we expect a very tough game, physically very demanding. So, we must prepare well and make everything look better than against Morocco.”
Southampton’s Dusan Tadic also admits they face physical opponents in London.
Nigeria have a lot of good players, we expect a very physically game,” Alo.rs quoted the forward as saying. “They have players in Leicester and Chelsea, they are physically dominant, fast and strong.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria captain Mikel Obi has ruled himself out of playing in the encounter as he is yet to resolve his work permit issue in China.
The Tianjin Teda star could not travel to Poland for Friday’s fixture in Wroclaw due to the problem, and the former Chelsea midfielder has now confirmed that he will also miss today’s clash against Serbia.
The 2012 UEFA Champions League winner wrote on his Instagram account on Monday, “Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I will not be on the field for our game v Serbia tomorrow (Tuesday). I am sad, and frustrated, but giving my full support to the team for another WIN!.”
Rohr has since invited Turkey-based midfielder Mikel Agu to replace the ageing player.