Serbia were able to overcome the disappointment of missing out on Euro 2020 to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
They are determined to show the world what they are capable of in Qatar, whose hosting of the tournament is controversial for the reasons outlined in this article. The Balkan nation defeated international heavyweights Portugal to during World Cup qualification and finished top of their group, but are faced with a tough task to reach the knockout stages of the finals.
Serbia have been paired with pre-tournament favourites Brazil, as well as Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G.
In particular, Serbia will be pinning their hopes on a lethal final third that consists of Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic who will be supplied by veteran captain Dusan Tadic, who himself has been enjoying career-best form at Ajax. They have been concerns over Mitrovic’s fitness, but those appeared to have been allayed in the build-up to their opening game against Brazil.
They are also backed by an impressive campaign over the last year that has seen them earn promotion to the Nations League finals, beating Norway and Sweden away on their way to winning their group.
Could this year’s World Cup represent Serbia’s best chance of success at the tournament since they became an independent nation in 2006?
Serbia team guide: Dejan Stojkovic’s stylish team has public back onside
Serbia’s World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Marko Dmitrovic (Sevilla), Predrag Rajkovic (Mallorca), Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (Torino);
Defenders: Stefan Mitrovic (Getafe), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina), Strahinja Pavlovic (Red Bull Salzburg), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Filip Mladenovic (Legia Warsaw), Strahinja Erakovic (Red Star Belgrade), Srdjan Babic (Almeria);
Midfielders: Nemanja Gudelj (Sevilla), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Sasa Lukic (Torino), Marko Grujic (Porto), Filip Kostic (Juventus), Uros Racic (Braga), Nemanja Maksimovic (Getafe), Ivan Ilic (Hellas Verona), Andrija Zivkovic (PAOK), Darko Lazovic (Hellas Verona);
Forwards: Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus), Filip Duricic (Sampdoria), Luka Jovic (Fiorentina), Nemanja Radonjic (Torino).
- Thursday, November 24: Brazil 2-0 Serbia
- Monday, November 28: Cameroon vs Serbia
- Friday, December 2: Serbia vs Switzerland
Serbia squad analysis
There’s a sense of deja vu for Serbia at this World Cup, given they will face Brazil and Switzerland, just as they did four years ago in Russia. This time, however, there is a confidence that the team have the quality and the know-how to make it to the knock-out stages…
For a full analysis of Serbia’s chances in Qatar, click here.
Meet The Athletic’s guest writers for the World Cup
World Cup provisional squads explained
(Photo: Getty Images)