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Slovenia make first Serbia visit

Published: Monday 6 September 2010, 11.25CET
Serbia's first home qualifier in UEFA EURO 2012 Group C is an encounter with a Slovenia team who, like Radomir Antić's squad, competed in this summer's FIFA World Cup finals.
Slovenia make first Serbia visit
Like Slovenia, Serbia also participated at the 2010 FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 6 September 2010, 11.25CET

Slovenia make first Serbia visit

Serbia's first home qualifier in UEFA EURO 2012 Group C is an encounter with a Slovenia team who, like Radomir Antić's squad, competed in this summer's FIFA World Cup finals.

Serbia and Slovenia will be meeting for the first time as independent nations in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group C, although visitors Slovenia faced both Serbia and Montenegro and Yugoslavia in the past.

Team news
• Radomir Antić has no fresh injury concerns following Friday's 3-0 win against the Faroe Islands. "In last round we were brilliant at home," said the coach. "I believe that we will continue and games in Belgrade will be our strongest weapon. I have respect for the Slovenian team, who were good at the World Cup, but there is lots of confidence in our squad. After a good start we want to continue and stay in a good position in the group."

Serbia squad
Goalkeepers:
Andjelko Djuričić (UD Leiria), Željko Brkić (FK Vojvodina), Bojan Isailović (Zagłębie Lubin)
Defenders: Antonio Rukavina (TSV 1860 München), Branislav Ivanović (Chelsea FC), Pavle Ninkov (FK Crvena Zvezda), Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United FC), Neven Subotić (BV Borussia Dortmund), Aleksandar Luković (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Ivan Obradović (Real Zaragoza), Jagoš Vuković (PSV Eindhoven)
Midfielders: Dejan Stanković (FC Internazionale Milano), Gojko Kačar (Hamburger SV), Zdravko Kuzmanović (VfB Stuttgart), Miloš Ninković (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Nenad Milijaš (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Miloš Krasić (Juventus), Milan Jovanović (Liverpool FC),Zoran Tošić (PFC CSKA Moskva), Radosav Petrović (FK Partizan), Nemanja Tomić (FK Partizan)
Forwards: Nikola Žigić (Birmingham City FC), Danko Lazović (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Dragan Mrdja (FC Sion)

• Other than Marko Šuler, Slovenia coach Matjaž Kek has a fully-fit squad to choose from following the 1-0 home defeat by Northern Ireland. With over 3000 Slovenia fans expected to travel to Belgrade, Kek is demanding an improvement on Friday's performance. "If the many errors from the first match are not repeated then we have a chance of getting a point or three," he said. "We want to play better then in Maribor and to improve the mood."

Slovenia squad
Goalkeepers: Samir Handanovič (Udinese Calcio), Aleksander Šeliga (Sparta Rotterdam), Jasmin Handanovič (Empoli FC)
Defenders: Mišo Brečko (1. FC Köln), Marko Šuler (KAA Gent), Matej Mavrič (Kapfenberger SV), Boštjan Cesar (AC Chievo Verona), Bojan Jokič (AC Chievo Verona), Branko Ilič (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Dejan Kelhar (Cercle Brugge KSV)
Midfielders: Dalibor Stevanovič (Vitesse), Valter Birsa (AJ Auxerre), Andraž Kirm (Wisła Kraków), Josip Iličič (US Città di Palermo), Robert Koren (Hull City AFC), Aleksander Radosavljevič (ADO Den Haag), Armin Bačinovič (US Città di Palermo), Dare Vršič (no club)
Forwards: Milivoje Novakovič (1. FC Köln), Tim Matavž (FC Groningen), Zlatan Ljubijankič (KAA Gent), Zlatko Dedič (VfL Bochum 1848)

Match background
• Slovenia contested three matches against Yugoslavia and one against Serbia and Montenegro, with their record in those four contests reading W0 D4 L0 (W0 D1 L0 on opposition soil).

• Slovenia's first match against Yugoslavia was also the most famous as the sides drew 3-3 in the group stage of UEFA EURO 2000. The match in Charleroi on 13 June 2000 was a classic, with Slovenia storming into a 3-0 lead courtesy of goals from Zlatko Zahovič (23 and 57) either side of a Miran Pavlin (52) strike.

• Despite the 60th-minute dismissal of Siniša Mihajlović, Yugoslavia hit back to claim a point courtesy of three goals in six minutes from Savo Milošević (67 and 73) and Ljubinko Drulović (70). Slovenia, competing in their first major championship as an independent nation, finished bottom of Group C while Yugoslavia advanced as runners-up behind Spain.

• The following year, Slovenia and Yugoslavia met again in qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Both games ended 1-1.

• Milošević was on target again in the opening fixture in Ljubljana on 28 March 2001 to give Yugoslavia a 33rd-minute lead, only for Zahovič to earn his side a point with an equaliser in the fourth minute of added time.

• The return in Belgrade on 5 September 2001 had an identical outcome, although this time Željko Milinovič put Slovenia ahead after ten minutes before Predrag Djordjević restored parity shortly after the break. Slovenia went on to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in their history while Yugoslavia missed out.

• More recently, Slovenia took on Serbia and Montenegro in a friendly in Ljubljana on 18 August 2004, and once again the scoreline ended 1-1.

Last updated: 06/09/10 21.12CET

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