Montenegro was the last of the erstwhile Yugoslavia Republic to cut ties with Serbia in fractious circumstances and both countries will take to the playing arena of Stadion Pod Goricom to settle further scores. Serbia's appearance at the FIFA world cup in 2018 was the beginning of a re-identification process with the football team by the fans, following the disillusionment that accompanied the teams failure to qualify for any international competition since 2010.
The World Cup marked a sort of new beginning for Serbian football and even though Slavoljub Muslin was fired barely three weeks after securing qualification for the country and replaced with ex-footballer, Mladen Krstajic, morale and expectations still reached fever pitch among the fans who were elated to be participating in footballs biggest showpiece. Muslin was accused of refusing to inject new blood into the team, specifically Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who was making waves in Serie A.
New coach Krstajic listened to the outcries and injected fresh blood into the mix but Serbia still went on to exit the competition in the group stages, losing to Brazil and Switzerland 0-2 and 1-2 respectively even though they beat Costa Rica 1-0 in the opening group match. They have however made a good start in the UEFA Nations League, beating Lithuania 1-0 in their groups first game and drew 2-2 with Romania. Those points mean they sit joint top in group C2 on 4 points with Montenegro.
Montenegro currently ranked 41st in world rankings are a bit of an unknown quantity but have surprisingly also made a good start to their UEFA Nations League campaign, beating Lithuania 2-0 in their most recent game. Apart from that solitary victory, they are yet to win any other match this year, drawing four and losing 0-2 to Slovenia in an international friendly game. The Falcons will rely heavily on home advantage in this fixture as they will be without defender Stefan Savic and midfielder Nikola Vukcevic. They are not a high scoring side, having only scored four goals all year but have also kept four clean sheets in the same period. On the flip side, Serbia are quite prolific in front of goal as they have only failed to find the back of the net twice in their last 12 fixtures. Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in ruthless form for both club and country netting 5 goals in 8 goals for Fulham and 2 for Serbia in the Nations League thus far.
Of the two sides, Serbia boasts the more established names in world football. With the likes of Nemanja Matic, plying his trade with Manchester United, Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace, Tadic, Ljajic, Milinkovic-Savic, Nastasic and Mitrovic, this should be a fairly straightforward game for the Orlovi. However, in football, sometimes games like this turn out with a sting in the tail. This is going to be the first ever meeting between these two sides so it should make for an interesting watch. Montenegro’s recent form portrays a side that is difficult to break down, so expect this to be a low scoring match.
I think Serbia win this, the prediction is 1-0 to Serbia, all those big names are going to give Serbia a big advantage in this game. Given the history between these two countries this could be a spicy game so expect plenty of cards, possibly some of them could be red.
The Serbia National Football Team nickname is the Orlovi which stands for The Eagles, so this match will be Falcons versus The Eagles, one for the bird watchers out there.