Friday, 7 September 2012

World Cup Qualifiers - Group A Weekend Preview

Scotland kick off their qualifying campaign for qualification to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this weekend with a match against second seeds, Serbia at Hampden Park. This is followed up on Tuesday with another home game on Tuesday against Macedonia. It's vital for Scotland to get off to a good start and I'm sure we're all pretty familiar with the players in our squad, so we're going to have a look at a few players that stand in the way of Scotland over the next week.

Serbia are going through a bit of a transition period with the recent international retirement of some high profile players such as Nemanja Vidic and Dejan Stankovic. They are however still very strong defensively with Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and Neven Subotic of Borussia Dortmund forming the core of the team, along with Manchester City's Aleksander Kolarov (above) who is always a threat from crosses and dead ball situations. Further up the pitch CSKA Moscow's Zoran Tosic, once of Man Utd is their main attacking danger man. Their squad is quite young and inexperienced however they are a nation becoming well known for producing talented youngsters, so this campaign could be the making of some future big name players. One such player, again a defender, is Matija Nastasic, who has just signed for Man City from Fiorentina.

Tuesday's opponents Macedonia have lesser known players but are well known to Scotland after meetings in recent qualifying campaigns. The heartbeat at the centre of their midfield is former Ipswich Town man Veliče Šumulikoski who now plies his trade in China. Their big name player however is striker Goran Pandev (above) who plays for Napoli following spells at Lazio and Inter Milan. Pandev is Macedonia's all time top goalscorer and much of their play will go through Šumulikoski to Pandev.

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