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Serbia will be no pushovers against Germany

Last updated on: June 17, 2010 09:00 IST

'Plethora of versatile players'



Serbia know there is little room for error after losing their first World Cup match and have warned Germany they will be no pushovers when they meet in their next Group D game on Friday.

Germany thrashed Australia 4-0 in their opener while Serbia lost 1-0 to Ghana and need top pull off a shock result against the three-times world champions to boost their chances.

"They have a plethora of versatile players and are difficult to contain but we will be no pushovers," said winger Zoran Tosic, who could be brought in to spice up the attack.

"There is no more room for error and we have to show what we are made of," he said of the game at Nelson Mandela Stadium.

Image: Germany team during a warm-up session
Photographs: Reuters

Subotic to replace Lukovic

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Coach Radomir Antic will select Neven Subotic in central defence for the suspended Aleksandar Lukovic, who was sent off against Ghana after receiving two yellow cards.

"Subotic is a natural replacement for Lukovic and I am confident he will do a good job in what is now a crunch game against the Germans," Antic said.

Zdravko Kuzmanovic, who conceded a late penalty against Ghana, is likely to replace the ineffective Nenad Milijas as Serbia aim for a first win over one of the world's top-ranked sides since the country's separation from Montenegro.

Image: Neven Subotic

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Cautious approach from Germany

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Germany coach Joachim Loeb will probably keep faith with the side that thrashed the Socceroos and silenced the many critics who had begun to write off a young squad missing their captain Michael Ballack through injury.

Bastian Schweinsteiger will be ready, despite a cold, and should link up in midfield with Sami Khedira, who has filled the holding midfield role previously held by Ballack.

Germany will likely opt for a cautious approach and curb the attacking instincts on show in their exciting victory against Australia to avoid being exposed at the back.

Image: Germany's Mesut Oezil and Lukas Podolski (left) take part in a training session

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Stakes are very high

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They know the stakes are high for Serbia and are preparing for an attacking approach from their opponents, whose lofty marksman Nikola Zigic will be the main threat for a team the Germans consider to be in a different class to Australia.

"Their defence is good with lots of experienced players. Their midfield is very skilled and they like to play down the wings," said Germany's assistant coach Hansi Flick.

"Our team is very young... but they are a young generation that is extremely confident, who know exactly what they want.

"Serbia will play (as if it's) their last chance to remain in the tournament. We have to be as careful as hawks when we play them," he added.

Image: Cacau celebrates after scoring against Australia

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