Serbia's last visit to Dublin was in 2014, when they inflicted Martin O'Neill's first defeat in a friendly.

Adem Ljajic recalled as Serbia name squad to face Ireland
Published: August 16, 2017

Serbia manager Slavoljub Muslin has named a 25-man squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifying games against Moldova and the Republic of Ireland next month.

 

Torino playmaker Adem Ljajic is recalled to the national squad for the first time under Muslin, who took over the reins ahead of the current qualifying campaign.

 

25-year-old Ljajic has been in great form for Torino under his former national team coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after stagnating during spells with Fiorentina, Roma and Inter.

 

Serbia currently top qualifying Group D on goal difference from Martin O'Neill's Ireland with four games remaining.

 

They face Moldova in Belgrade on Saturday, September 2nd before travelling to Dublin to face the Boys in Green on Tuesday the 5th. Ireland face Georgia in Tbilisi on the 2nd.

 

Group D's top scorer Aleksandr Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic – who have nine goals between them – are named alongside Ljajic in the forwards division.

 

Valencia's exciting midfielder Nemanja Maksimovic retains his place in midfield alongside Nemanja Matic, who recently played at the Aviva Stadium for his new club Manchester United.

 

Goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic – the only domestic-based player in the squad since his summer return to Partizan from Nottingham Forest – is suspended for the game with Moldova.

 

He will likely be replaced by Predrag Rajkovic, who started the first group game against Ireland and was in goal for Maccabi Tel Aviv when they were beaten by Dundalk in Tallaght last September.

 

“I said earlier that the doors of the national team are open to everyone,” Muslin told the Serbian FA's official website.

 

“They are open to anyone who can help and is always welcome. We followed the shape of Ljaji? during the preparations and concluded that he could help us in the matches that we expect.

 

“There are no decisive matches. We have four more matches, there are 12 points in the game and every duel is important.

 

“Now we are thinking about Moldova, then we are facing a meeting with the Republic of Ireland.

 

“Am I satisfied with the performance so far? I can be pleased because we are the first.

 

“Maybe in some matches we could have had a better outcome, but I would not be angry if everything was like this and at the end of the qualification.

 

"I always get the best from the players I have called up. The call is evidence of what I said before, which is that the door is not closed to anyone.

 

“Where do I see Ljajic? His form is great. We have followed him during preparation and I see him in our system right up to the most aggressive attacker.”

 

Serbia squad to face Moldova and the Republic of Ireland:

 

Goalkeepers:

Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan), Aleksandar Jovanovic (AGF), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Haifa), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar).

 

Defenders: Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit), Jagos Vukovic (Olympiacos), Stefan Mitrovic (Gent), Nikola Maksimovic (Napoli), Matija Nastasic (Schalke), Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma), Uros Spajic (Anderlecht), Ivan Obradovic (Anderlecht), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal).

 

Midfielders: Ljubomir Fejsa (Benfica), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Nemanja Gudelj (Tijandin Teda, China), Nemanja Maksimovic (Valencia).

 

Forwards: Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Andrija Pavlovic (FC Kobenhavn), Mijat Gacinovic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK).


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