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Scolari perturbed as Serbia call

Published: Wednesday 12 September 2007, 9.02CET
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted that he had expected to be in a "more comfortable position" ahead of Portugal's critical Group A qualifier against Serbia.
by José Nuno Pimentel
from Lisbon
Scolari perturbed as Serbia call
Luiz Felipe Scolari's men have two fewer points than they expected ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 12 September 2007, 9.02CET

Scolari perturbed as Serbia call

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted that he had expected to be in a "more comfortable position" ahead of Portugal's critical Group A qualifier against Serbia.

Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted that he had expected to be in a "more comfortable position" ahead of Portugal's charged Group A game against Serbia.

Competitive section
A late Poland goal in Lisbon helped the section leaders to a 2-2 draw against Portugal on Saturday night, making the Brazilian coach's job more difficult. "I was expecting to have two more points and to be in a more comfortable position," he said. "We expected three teams [Portugal, Poland and Serbia] to be challenging but now there are four teams competing for two places as Finland are still in the race."

Complicated position
Third in the section, four points adrift of Poland and two behind Finland, albeit with a game in hand on both sides, Scolari's men can ill afford not to win against Javier Clemente's Serbia, who are a point behind them in fourth place. To make matters more complicated, the coach must also make a change to his starting lineup with left-back Marco Caneira withdrawing from the squad after sustaining a thigh injury at the weekend. Striker Hélder Postiga is also unavailable as he damaged knee ligaments in training on Friday.

Better skills
"Serbia play a similar kind of football to us," said the 58-year-old coach, who led Brazil to glory at the 2002 World Cup and took charge of Portugal in 2003. "They do good things when they have the ball and I think they are superior in terms of skill to the Poles. We will need to work very hard to earn the three points." Elsewhere in Group A tonight, Finland entertain Poland and Belgium travel to Kazakhstan.

Last updated: 12/09/07 22.02CET

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