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Category: Serbia

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World Cup 2018 power rankings: Germany on top among qualified 23 | Nick Ames

Twenty-three nations have booked their places for the World Cup in Russia, with the holders and Brazil looking in good shape but we rank England in 13th place, below Iceland

If the world champions were frustrated by their failure to win continental honours at Euro 2016 they have certainly taken it out on everyone else since. Germany won 10 qualifying games out of 10 and, even if San Marino’s presence in Group C needs taking into account, a record 43 goals scored suggests things are back in their old working order. So too did their Confederations Cup title in July, achieved with an experimental squad; Joachim Low can select from an unrivalled depth of talent and, while winning back-to-back World Cups remain a huge task, none of next summer’s contenders has an equivalent selection of tools with which to tackle the different challenges they will face.

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Iceland become smallest nation ever to qualify for World Cup finals

• Win over Kosovo secures place at World Cup 2018 in Russia
• Serbia seal qualification, Croatia confirm play-off place

Iceland sealed a place in Russia with a 2-0 victory against Kosovo in Reykjavik, becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup finals.

Heimir Hallgrimsson’s team knew a win against Group I’s bottom side would guarantee top spot and an automatic qualifying place, and Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson settled their nerves with a superbly taken goal five minutes before half-time.

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Republic of Ireland v Moldova, Spain v Albania: World Cup qualifiers – live!

8.11pm BST

The Real Madrid playmaker, who’s having a fine season, doubles Spain’s lead in Alicante. And what’s this?

8.10pm BST

Israel can’t qualify but a goal’s a goal.

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Serbia’s Kolarov strikes to leave Ireland’s World Cup chances in more doubt

Where there is a will, there is not always a way. Ireland performed with more gusto and enterprise than they mustered in their previous three matches, but the blustery pursuit of good intentions was not enough to avoid defeat against the group D leaders. Aleksandar Kolarov’s second-half goal gave Serbia a lead that their spirited but imprecise hosts could not claw back, even after the dismissal of Nikola Maksimovic in the 68th minute.

Perhaps if Martin O’Neill’s team had played liked this against lesser opponents, notably Georgia on Saturday, they would not be in the predicament in which they now find themselves: third in their group and more than likely needing to win in Cardiff next month to claim the runners-up spot back from Wales.

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Republic of Ireland to draw inspiration from famous wins when facing Serbia

• Martin O’Neill’s side will head Group D with win in 2018 World Cup qualifier
• ‘We can use our fightbacks and grandstand finishes’

When the Republic of Ireland go into battle against Serbia here on Tuesday night, they will be fighting not only to climb above the visitors in top spot in World Cup qualifying Group D but also to settle a dispute that has long divided Irish fans and was intensified by a bleak 1-1 draw in Georgia.

To some Martin O’Neill, who took charge in November 2013, deserves praise for overseeing better results than could reasonably be expected from a mediocre squad. To others those results are an anomaly that cannot be sustained by a manager whose unimaginative approach makes his playing resources look more limited than they really are.

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Under-20 World Cup has put galaxy of stars on road to global superstardom | Devarshi Lodhia

England’s Dominic Solanke joins Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero in elite group by winning tournament golden ball, but it is no guarantee of a great career

An Argentina side boasting a midfield trio of Juan Román Riquelme, Esteban Cambiasso and Pablo Aimar and a defence featuring Walter Samuel won their second consecutive Under-20 World Cup, using José Peckerman’s floating 3-5-2 formation to devastating effect in Malaysia. Argentina’s top scorer, Bernado Romeo, despite playing alongside future Serie A, La Liga, Champions League and Copa Libertadores winners, did not enjoy such a distinguished career, managing four caps for the national side in a career that came to an underwhelming end in 2012 at San Lorenzo.

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Aleksandar Mitrovic denies Wales after Aaron Ramsey hits spot against Serbia

Aaron Ramsey could not have picked a better place to convert a Panenka penalty as Wales secured a precious point against the Group D leaders, Serbia, to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup finals next summer, yet it was a night tinge…

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Wales have struggled with expectation after Euro 2016, says Chris Coleman

A year to the day after their Euro 2016 opener, Wales can ill afford defeat to group leaders Serbia if they are to reach the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia

Chris Coleman has always wanted Wales to focus on the future rather than basking in last summer’s success, yet with Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Serbia taking place exactly a year after their opening match at Euro 2016, even the manager had to concede that it was impossible not to take a trip down memory lane.

Related: Chris Coleman urges Wales to handle hostility against Serbia

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Chris Coleman urges Wales to handle hostility against Serbia

• Wales manager says team must cope with opponents’ ‘power play’ period
• Chris Coleman looks to banish memories of drubbing in 2012

Chris Coleman has admitted that the pain of losing 6-1 against Serbia five years ago will never leave him as the Wales manager returns to the country for a crucial World Cup qualifier in Belgrade with a warning for his players that they need to deal with a hostile atmosphere and those periods when their opponents are enjoying a “power play”.

Sitting third in Group D and trailing Serbia and the Republic of Ireland by four points with five matches remaining, Wales have little margin for error on Sunday night in Belgrade, where a defeat would leave their hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia hanging by a thread.

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Serbian football’s eye-watering racism problem shows no sign of abating

Everton Luiz’s tearful response to appalling abuse at FK Rad highlighted an old problem but clubs are powerless and frightened to intervene against the ultras

FK Rad’s home stadium in the Belgrade suburb of Banjica is a strange, two-sided venue that comes to life whenever Crvena Zvezda or Partizan make the simple mile-long journey south for a derby in the Superliga. In March 2009 a visit for a match against the former had largely been spent ducking firecrackers thrown between the rival supports when, around an hour in, the tone shifted from tense to sinister.

As the away side readied the dreadlocked Brazilian substitute Jeff Silva the projectile sparring stopped and the sound that replaced it, once experienced, does not fade easily from the memory. Silva’s introduction was being greeted by “monkey” noises from a sizeable minority of the home support and the shock to these naive ears cannot be registered on the same scale as the impact on the player who, just for a second or two, turned round and stared the bank of offenders down.

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Serbian football’s eye-watering racism problem shows no sign of abating

Everton Luiz’s tearful response to appalling abuse at FK Rad highlighted an old problem but clubs are powerless and frightened to intervene against the ultras

FK Rad’s home stadium in the Belgrade suburb of Banjica is a strange, two-sided venue that comes to life whenever Crvena Zvezda or Partizan make the simple mile-long journey south for a derby in the Superliga. In March 2009 a visit for a match against the former had largely been spent ducking firecrackers thrown between the rival supports when, around an hour in, the tone shifted from tense to sinister.

As the away side readied the dreadlocked Brazilian substitute Jeff Silva the projectile sparring stopped and the sound that replaced it, once experienced, does not fade easily from the memory. Silva’s introduction was being greeted by “monkey” noises from a sizeable minority of the home support and the shock to these naive ears cannot be registered on the same scale as the impact on the player who, just for a second or two, turned round and stared the bank of offenders down.

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Bruce Arena’s return to USMNT ends in goalless draw with Serbia

Bruce Arena’s second stint as coach of the US national team began with the same result as his first, a 0-0 draw.

The US had few scoring chances in Sunday’s match against a young Serbia team, the first game for the Americans since Jürgen Klinsmann was fired after a pair of losses in World Cup qualifiers in November and replaced by Arena.

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USA v Serbia: international football friendly – live!

8.33pm GMT

Here’s USMNT starting XI:

Check out the #USMNT Starting XI for #USAvSRB on ESPN2 and @UniMas at 4 p.m. ET.

Lineup Notes: https://t.co/zBGU7uSogG pic.twitter.com/BhXPp999vE

8.24pm GMT

A new era for US soccer.

Hello everyone and welcome to this international friendly between the USMNT and Serbia and Bruce Arena’s first match in charge since replacing Jurgen Klinsmann last November.
The squad enter their first competitive fixture since losing 2-1 to Mexico at home and 4-0 at against Costa Rica in San Jose so in many ways this will feel more than just a friendly for the red, white and blue as a desire to write a new page is surely in every player’s mind.

Follow @JozyAltidore‘s career timeline leading up to his 100th cap.

No. 17 also picked out his 5 favorite moments: https://t.co/ritusKkbt8 pic.twitter.com/OCSO3MN1UE

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Southampton’s Dusan Tadic considers protective mask for Liverpool match

• Winger suffered suspected broken nose against Wales from kick
• Serb also willing to play in friendly against Ukraine on Tuesday

Dusan Tadic believes he suffered a broken nose against Wales when Neil Taylor accidentally kicked him in the face but the Southampton winger has not ruled out playing against Liverpool on Saturday and will consider wearing a protective mask to give him every chance of being available.

The 27-year-old required lengthy treatment on the side of the pitch during Saturday’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Wales, with his face covered in blood after Taylor caught him on the bridge of the nose. Tadic later returned to the action with cotton wool stuffed up his nose to stem the bleeding but admitted he was struggling to breathe at times.

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Ashley Williams calls on wasteful Wales to deliver victory in Dublin

• Wales playing catch-up and need to beat Ireland in World Cup qualifier
• Gareth Bale strikes but Wales squander lead in 1-1 draw with Serbia

Ashley Williams accepts Wales may have to win all of their remaining World Cup qualifying matches to finish top of their group after they squandered a lead for the third game in succession to leave their hopes of reaching Russia hanging in the balance.

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header five minutes from time, and less than 60 seconds after Gareth Bale had hit an upright at the other end of the pitch, earned Serbia a precious point that means Wales are now playing catch-up in Group D and have little margin for error in the rest of their campaign.

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Wales held to damaging Serbia draw after late Aleksandar Mitrovic goal

It was one of those nights when the woodwork made all the difference. With five minutes remaining the width of the post denied Gareth Bale a second goal that would have put this crucial game to bed and less than 60 seconds later the Serbia bench exploded with joy after Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Newcastle United striker, scored via the upright at the other end.

Wales were crestfallen, disappointment written all over their faces at the final whistle after two precious points slipped through their fingers for the third consecutive match in a World Cup qualification campaign that has stalled. “The players are absolutely devastated,” Chris Coleman, the Wales manager, said.

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Wales v Serbia: World Cup 2018 qualifier – live!

7.05pm GMT

It looks like a rare 4-4-2 for Wales, with Sam Vokes and Hal Robson-Kanu starting; much will depend on where Gareth Bale starts, and if he stays there. Serbia go with a five-man defence, with Southampton’s Dusan Tadic the obvious creative threat; he has scored three and set up five goals in Serbia’s first three qualifiers.

6.55pm GMT

Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, A Williams, Chester, Taylor; Allen, Ledley, Ramsey, Bale; Vokes, Robson-Kanu.

Subs: Ward, Fôn Williams, Matthews, Walsh, Dummett, Edwards, Huws, King, Lawrence, MacDonald, J Williams, Cotterill.

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Joe Ledley says Wales players will maintain tradition of wacky team photos

• Players believe it brings them good luck and will do the same for Serbia game
• Midfielder admits practice of lopsided camera lineups happened by accident

Wales plan to continue their rather strange pre-match ritual of lining up for lopsided team photographs when they take to the field for their World Cup qualifier against Serbia in Cardiff on Saturday. Chris Coleman’s players are ready to assemble in a new formation in front of the cameras as part of a joke and the belief that it brings them good fortune.

The bizarre team pictures started more by accident than design and go back several years, but of late the Wales players have made a conscious effort to break with the traditional six-plus-five setup for the shot that is taken just before kick-off.

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Wales trust ‘world class’ Aaron Ramsey to be fit enough to start Serbia qualifier

• ‘There’s not a team on the planet he couldn’t play for,’ says Coleman
• Midfielder has not completed 90 minutes for club or country since June

The last time Aaron Ramsey wore a Wales shirt, he left the field to a standing ovation in Lille, euphoric after leading his country to victory over Belgium in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 but devastated at picking up the yellow card that ruled him out of the last-four meeting with Portugal. Four months on and “Rambo” is back, not a moment too soon and with a glowing endorsement from Chris Coleman. “There’s not a team on the planet he couldn’t play for when he’s at his best,” the Wales manager said.

Ramsey, ruled out of the first three World Cup qualification fixtures after picking up a hamstring injury playing for Arsenal on the opening day of the season, returns to the starting lineup against Serbia in a pivotal match for his country and with every Wales supporter hoping he can pick up where he left off in France, where his outstanding performances led to him being named in Uefa’s team of the tournament.

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Gareth Bale still ‘one of the boys’ for Wales after £150m deal, says Joe Ledley

• Real Madrid forward ‘deserves every penny – there is no jealousy’
• Wales take on Serbia in Cardiff on Saturday in World Cup qualifier

Joe Ledley insists Gareth Bale is treated no differently within the Wales squad on the back of signing a new contract that makes him one of the highest-paid sportsmen in the world. The Crystal Palace midfielder says his international team-mates still “hammer” the Real Madrid forward for anything and everything, including a resemblance to Tarzan.

Related: Aaron Ramsey returns to Wales squad for Serbia World Cup qualifier

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