Serbia v Czech Republic background

Serbia will hope meeting the Czech Republic in their group game goes the same way as eight years ago, when they won the equivalent fixture on their way to the final.

Boško Janković (centre) celebrates his last-gasp winner when these teams met in 2007
Boško Janković (centre) celebrates his last-gasp winner when these teams met in 2007 ©Getty Images

Serbia will hope meeting the Czech Republic in their second UEFA European Under-21 Championship group game goes to same way as eight years ago, when they won the equivalent fixture on their way to the final.

• The four semi-finalists in the Czech Republic will qualify for next summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Should England reach the last four, the two third-placed teams will contest a play-off on 28 June to take their place.

Previous meetings
• In that game in Nijmegen on 14 June 2007, Serbia won 1-0 through an added-time Boško Janković goal.

• That win clinched the group for Serbia with a game to spare and they were to reach the final, losing 4-1 to the Dutch hosts. The Czech Republic were eliminated a match later, losing 3-1 against Italy.

• The teams at the Gofferstadion were:
Czech Republic
: Zlámal, Kaufman, Hubník, Kadlec, Jirsák, Pudil, Švec, Papadopulos (Blažek 74), Kladrubský, Fillo (Rajtoral 87), Kopic.
Serbia
: Kahriman, Ivanović, Rukavina, Kolarov, Smiljanić, Janković, Miovanović, D Tošić, Babović (Basta 66), Mrdja (Rakić 46), Z Tošić.

• These teams' only other meeting in their current forms was a friendly on 15 August 2006, when the then newly separate Serbia won 1-0 in Kromeriz.

• The former Yugoslavia defeated the Czech Republic 3-0 at home and 1-0 away in 1998 qualifying. In the 1980 quarter-finals Yugoslavia drew 1-1 away against Czechoslovakia before a 2-1 home victory.

Match background
• The Czech Republic, winners in 2002, last qualified in 2011 when they finished fourth in Denmark. They also qualified in 2007 and 2000, when they were runners-up.

• Serbia last qualified in 2009, exiting in the group stage, two years after they were runners-up in the Netherlands.

• As Serbia and Montenegro they were 2006 semi-finalists and 2004 runners-up.

• Yugoslavia reached the final in 1990 and were also semi-finalists in 1980 and 1984.

Coach profiles
Serbia: Mladen Dodić
Born 17/10/69
Dodić steered FK Jagodina to a third-place finish in 2013/14 and the final of the Serbian Cup. The former Napredak, Novi Pazar and Javor boss was hired in late December to replace Radovan Ćurčić, who succeeded Dick Advocaat at the helm of the senior national side.

Czech Republic: Jakub Dovalil
Born 08/02/1974
Dovalil was appointed in November 2008, four months after he led the Czech U19s to the last four of their UEFA European Championship on home soil. In 2006 the former Slavia Praha youth coach had also steered the U17s to their respective continental final, where they succumbed on penalties to Russia.

Form guide
Serbia
Last five games (most recent first): DWLWD
Qualifying top scorer: Aleksandar Mitrović (4)

Czech Republic
Last five games (most recent first): LWWWL
2013-15 friendlies top scorer: Michael Krmenčík (3), Tomáš Přikryl (3)

Serbia
• This game falls on the same day as Serbia's FIFA U-20 World Cup final against Brazil in New Zealand.

• There are no new injury worries for coach Dodić, despite some of his players suffering knocks during the 1-1 draw with Germany.

• Radovan Ćurčić has joined the team in Prague. He was the U21 coach before Dodić and led the team through the qualification, but replaced Dick Advocaat at the helm of the senior side on 25 November. He will stay with the team until the end of their stay here.

• Filip Djuričić was a late arrival after playing for the last nine minutes of the senior side's 2-0 defeat in Denmark in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying last weekend.

• Darko Brašanac, Goran Čaušić and Aleksandar Pantić were booked on matchday one and will be suspended if they receive another yellow card against the hosts.

Czech Republic 
• Defender Tomáš Kalas and forward Václav Kadlec return after serving a ban in the opening 2-1 loss to Denmark.

• Defender Jan Baránek had to be substituted after taking a blow to the chest in the first game and is a doubt to face Serbia.

• The Letná Stadium is a familiar one for Jakub Brabec, Ladislav Krejčí and Václav Kadlec as their club, Sparta Praha, has its home there.

• Pavel Kadeřábek left Sparta for Bundesliga side Hoffenheim on Wednesday.

• "The situation is tough as we have to get points from both of the remaining games to qualify, but we're not giving up on anything. The performance we produced in the first half was nothing to be ashamed of," captain Jakub Brabec said after the opening game.