Serbia coach Javier Clemente said he was looking forward to the new season with optimism as he named his squad for the important UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier with Belgium on 22 August.
Serbia go into the game in Brussels in second place in Group A locked on 14 points with Portugal and Finland, who have played a game more. Belgium are seven points behind, but Clemente warned his side to expect a stern test all the same. "The match in Brussels is very important for us," the Spanish coach said. "Belgium did not start their qualifying campaign well, but they have a new team mixed with experience and young talented players. This is the start of the season which is a particularly hard time, but we have our system and I'm optimistic. The goal is to qualify for EURO 2008 and every match is a small part of that bigger story."
Smiljanić called up
Clemente has called up 19 players, but will be without suspended captain Dejan Stanković. New Valencia CF striker Nikola Žigić returns from suspension after being dismissed in the defeat by Kazakhstan on 24 March and FC Porto defender Milan Stepanov is also back after injury. RCD Espanyol’s defensive midfielder Milan Smiljanić is the only new face in the squad and he is called up for the first time after impressing at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in June.
Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojković (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Vlada Avramov (ACF Fiorentina).
Defenders: Antonio Rukavina (FK Partizan), Mladen Krštajić (FC Schalke 04), Ivica Dragutinović (Sevilla FC), Duško Tošić (Werder Bremen), Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United FC), Milan Stepanov (FC Porto).
Midfielders: Nenad Kovačević (RC Lens), Igor Duljaj (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Milan Smiljanić (RCD Espanyol), Ognjen Koroman (FK Crvena Zvezda), Boško Janković (US Città di Palermo), Zdravko Kuzmanović (ACF Fiorentina) and Miloš Krasić (PFC CSKA Moskva).
Forwards: Marko Pantelić (Hertha BSC Berlin), Nikola Žigić (Valencia CF), Danko Lazović (PSV Eindhoven) and Milan Jovanović (R. Standard de Liège).
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