And while talking about Serbia we got to thinking, â€śWhat if Yugoslavia was still a united country? How awesome would that football team be?â€ť So, off we ran to the computer, and to Wikipedia, to look up the current line-ups for the countries of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia and Macedonia.
My united Yugoslavia starting 11: G Stojkovic (Sporting) â€“ D Vidic (Manchester United), D Ivanovic (Chelsea), D Simunic (Hoffenheim), D Subotic (Borussia Dortmund) â€“ M Tosic (Manchester United), M Pjanic (Olympique Lyon), M Stankovic (Inter Milan), M Modric (Tottenham Hotspurs) â€“ F Dzeko (Wolfsburg), F Olic (Bayern Munich)
To me, it looks like a team that could win the whole damn thing. Also note, a fair number of Serbs made it on my starting 11. And, we havenâ€™t even considered the benchâ€¦
But, this is not a united Yugoslavia we face on Friday--- itâ€™ll be the Serbs alone. A Serbian team that must win, mind you. Their game against Ghana was a severe blow, not that they played poorly (they didnâ€™t), but lacked a final touch. I would think they had originally expected to beat Ghana, beat Australia and perhaps draw with us. And now, that plan is off the rails. Theyâ€™ll need a win over the Germans to keep their progression dreams alive.
The subject of my favorite Manchester United chant, look for Nemanja Vidic to marshal the Serbian back four against a free-flowing, attacking German midfield. Mesut Oezil and Co. will have a bit more trouble penetrating this back line than they did against the Socceroos as Ivanovic, Subotic and Vidic are all, truly, world class.
Stojkovic - Ivanovic, Vidic, Subotic, Kolarov - Krasic, Stankovic, Kuzmanovic, Jovanovic - Zigic, Pantelic
Lukovic was sent off against Ghana and is unavailable for this match.
Neuer - Lahm, Mertesacker, Friedrich, Badstuber - Schweinsteiger, Khedira - Mueller, Ozil, Podolski â€“ Klose
Itâ€™s unlikely Herr Loew will make any changes to the side that demolished the Aussies. And, who can blame him?
If Badstuber doesnâ€™t get caught with his pants down too often, and the midfield keeps up their ball distribution and crisp passing, die Mannschaft is likely to come out on top. Iâ€™d love to see a bit more finish out of Oezil and Klose as well, as the chances in this match will be a great deal fewer.
All in all, there is much to be confident about. If we can build on an inspiring opening performance, and garner 3 points from this match, we should be clear in to the last 16.
Auf gehtâ€™s Deutschland!