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Serbians ready for debut

Coach Javier Clemente has named his squad as Serbia prepare to make their European debut against the Czech Republic in Uherske Hradiste on 16 August.

Javier Clemente - the first coach of Serbia
Javier Clemente - the first coach of Serbia ©AFP

Newly-appointed coach Javier Clemente has named his squad for Serbia's European debut against the Czech Republic in Uherske Hradiste on 16 August.

International debut
The friendly match will be Serbia's first as an independent nation following the break-up of the former Serbia and Montenegro. The Spaniard's side will wear a new kit – red shirts, blue shorts and white socks – and will sing a new anthem. "I know every Serbian is proud and I am too," said Clemente. "It is normal to be excited at these moments and we will try to make a good impression."

Five newcomers
Clemente has included five potential debutants - goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković, defenders Milan Stepanov, Milan Biševac and Marko Lomić, and midfielder Aleksandar Trišović – but there is no place for former captain Savo Miloševic. The striker has called time on his international career after winning a record 101 caps. "I do not know the young players," explained Clemente. "I want to see them in action. I will also look at some players from the current Under-21 squad who will play against the Czechs on 15 August, such as Milos Krašić, Dušan Basta and Branislav Ivanović."

EURO programme
Serbia will play in Group A as they aim to qualify for the UEFA EURO 2008™ finals, making their competitive debut against Azerbaijan in Belgrade on 2 September. Meanwhile, the Football Association of Serbia has announced a friendly against Norway in Belgrade on 15 November.

Serbia squad
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevrić (Ankaraspor AS), Vladimir Stojković (FC Nantes Atlantique).

Defenders: Marko Baša (Le Mans UC 72), Milan Biševac (FK Crvena Zvezda), Marjan Marković (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Marko Lomić (FK Partizan), Aleksandar Luković (Ascoli Calcio 1898), Milan Stepanov (Trabzonspor).

Midfielders: Igor Duljaj (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Nenad Kovačević (FK Crvena Zvezda), Dejan Stanković (FC Internazionale Milano), Ognjen Koroman (FC Terek Chechenskaya Respublika), Saša Ilić (Galatasaray SK), Aleksandar Trišović (FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih).

Forwards: Nikola Žigić (FK Crvena Zvezda), Danko Lazović (BV Vitesse), Danijel Ljuboja (VfB Stuttgart), Marko Pantelić (Hertha BSC Berlin).