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Serbia lie in wait for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland will look to maintain their unbeaten start in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group C as they pay a first visit to Serbia since their hosts became an independent nation.

Serbia's Dejan Stanković in action in the home defeat by Estonia
Serbia's Dejan Stanković in action in the home defeat by Estonia ©Getty Images

Northern Ireland will look to maintain their unbeaten start in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group C as they pay a first visit to Serbia since their hosts became an independent nation.

Match background
• Northern Ireland's record in ten games against Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the independent Serbia reads W1 D2 L7 (W0 D1 L3 away from home).

• The sides met for the only previous time in their current incarnations in a friendly game in Belfast on 14 November 2009, Danko Lazović's solitary effort earning a 1-0 win for Serbia.

• Northern Ireland's only victory against the old Yugoslavia came in their first meeting, a UEFA European Championship qualifier on 16 April 1975 in which Bryan Hamilton scored the only goal.

• Northern Ireland have visited Belgrade on two previous occasions, losing 1-0 in the return leg of the above tie in November 1975 and going down 4-1 to Yugoslavia in another UEFA European Championship qualifier on 27 March 1991, in which Darko Pančev scored a hat-trick.

• Serbia are without a win from their first two home qualifiers in Group C, while Northern Ireland have yet to lose home or away in the section.

• Serbia are staging this game behind closed doors as a punishment after serious disorder in the stands forced their 12 October qualifier against Italy in Genoa to be abandoned after just six minutes.