517
World Cup

World Cup 2018 – Team Analysis – Serbia

Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic is the central figure in Serbia’s national team.

However, World Cup Fantasy managers should think twice before considering Luka Milivojevic, who is unlikely to reproduce the form that saw him become a key Fantasy Premier League asset in 2017/18.

We’ve got everything you need to know about the final Group E nation here…

ROAD TO QUALIFICATION

As is often the case with former Yugoslavian nations, nobody is sure which Serbia will turn up at this World Cup. Will it be the outfit which won a difficult qualification group containing Republic of Ireland, Wales and Austria, all of whom had varying levels of success at Euro 2016 in Serbia’s absence? Or will it be the side beaten at home by Morocco in March with their captain and best defender Branislav Invanovic benched by rookie coach Mladen Krstajic?

Under the management of Slavoljub Muslin, the Serbians lost just one match in qualification making it to a major international tournament for the first time since 2010. Although even then, most of the goals conceded came from defensive errors. So despite successfully winning a group as rank outsiders, Muslin was sacked from his position in October. Other factors in the decision were reported to be disagreements with the country’s football association over team selection, defensive tactics and the omission of young players, namely Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

However, a change in management has, if anything, made things worse. Serbia could yet prove to be another in a long line of Balkan nations unable to get the best out of a good squad. Since 44-year-old Krstajic took over, the players have struggled to adapt to his new tactics. Muslin booked a place in Russia using a 3-4-3 formation but Krstajic has switched between 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 in friendlies and is still unsure which he will use in Russia. “What formation we will play depends on many factors,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s still early to talk about that.”

It’s just two wins from five under Krstajic so far and with important figures such as Nemanja Matic and Dusan Tadic featuring only as second-half substitutes, Serbia were beaten by Chile on Monday night. Add into the mix that they will be without key centre-back Matija Nastasic through injury at the World Cup and ongoing accusations that most of the squad don’t perform as well for their country as they do for their club and it’s hard to know how much to expect from them in Group E.

UEFA QUALIFYING

Most starts: Branislav Ivanovic, Dusan Tadic (both 10), Aleksandar Mitrovic, Antonio Rukavina (both 9), Aleksandar Kolarov, Filip Kostic, Luka Milivojevic, Vladimir Stojkovic (all 8).

Most goals: Mitrovic (6), Tadic (4), Kolarov, Kostic, Gacinovic (all 2).

Most assists: Tadic (7), Kostic (5).

THE KEY TARGETS

Involved in over half of Serbia’s goal’s during qualifying Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic (£6.4m on Fantasy iTeam | £8.5m on McDonald’s FIFA) is the most important Fantasy asset for anyone looking to cover this nation. He scored four goals himself (two from the penalty spot) and assisted seven more, contributing to 11 of Serbia’s 20 qualification strikes. Tadic was a mainstay during that stage of the competition too, starting every single match in UEFA Group D. Since passage to Russia was booked he has featured from the beginning in three of the five friendlies played, operating predominantly on the right-wing of either a 4-3-3- or 4-2-3-1 and scoring against Morocco in March.

On the opposite flank is Hamburg left-winger Filip Kostic (£5.7m on Fantasy iTeam | £6.0m on McDonald’s FIFA), who was just as important during the qualification phase. Developing a good relationship with Tadic, he slotted two goals of his own assisting another five. He has started just two friendlies under Krstajic but did add another assist in March’s 2-0 win over Nigeria. Priced much cheaper than Tadic on Fantasy iTeam at £5.7m, he is worth considering as a cheaper alternative.

Much more assured of a starting berth when Serbia face Costa Rica in the Group E opener on June 17th is striker Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.5m on Fantasy iTeam | £7.5m on McDonald’s FIFA). The Newcastle United man has revitalised his career at Fulham this season and top-scored for Serbia in qualifying with six strikes. Since Krstajic took over he has started all but one of the friendlies in a lone centre-forward role adding a further three goals.

THE LONG SHOTS

The subject of much debate under Muslin’s time in charge, midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (£5.7m on Fantasy iTeam | £7.0m on McDonald’s FIFA) has had another fantastic season with Lazio and is now being linked with a move to Manchester United. The 23-year-old scored 12 goals and assisted another three in Serie A this season but struggled to get into national squad during Muslin’s tenure for being unwilling to play in defensive midfield. Now that the former boss has moved on, Milinkovic-Savic has started two friendlies, ironically one of them in defensive midfield. He’s not completely nailed on to start with three caps to his name but if handed the opportunity on the back of a break-out season at club level, he could do well in Russia.

20-year-old striker Luka Jovic (£6.2m on Fantasy iTeam | £6.0m on McDonald’s FIFA) only has six minutes of senior international football under his belt but has found club form at the perfect time. On loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Benfica, he scored nine goals in 27 appearances in all competitions, and assisted another as the Bundesliga side went on to win the DFB Pokal final against Bayern Munich. As previously stated, Mitrovic has the centre-forward position nailed on but any injuries or suspensions could see Jovic given a chance. Alternatively, Aleksandar Prijovic (£6.0m on Fantasy iTeam | £6.0m on McDonald’s FIFA) scored the winning goal in the final qualifier and could come in for Mitrovic.

AREAS TO AVOID

Serbia’s unsettled defence is an area to stay away from. Former Chelsea man Branislav Ivanovic (£5.8m on Fantasy iTeam | £5.5m on McDonald’s FIFA) was ever-present at centre-back during qualifying but has been in and out of the side since Krstajic took over, having the captaincy stripped from him and handed to Aleksander Kolarov (£6.0m on Fantasy iTeam | £5.5m on McDonald’s FIFA) too. Kolarov himself has started three of Krstajic’s five matches and five different options have been used at centre-back. Furthermore, Serbia’s back-line is not particularly trustworthy either, averaging at least one goal conceded per game in qualifying. That doesn’t bode well ahead of facing Brazil’s potent attack and the not-so-goal-shy Switzerland and Costa Rica in Group E.

Another player to stay away from is Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic (£6.1m on Fantasy iTeam | £6.0m on McDonald’s FIFA). The 27-year-old earned popularity on Fantasy Premier League this season for taking the penalties, free-kicks and corners for his side. Those responsibilities led him to 10 goals and two assists with the Eagles, all at a bargain price. Expecting him to replicate that at the World Cup would be foolish, though. National team set-pieces, including penalties, are taken by Tadic, not Milivojevic.

Further Analysis

Our comprehensive World Cup guide can be found here.

Group A Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay

Group BIran, Morocco, Portugal, Spain

Group CAustralia, Peru, France, Denmark

Group DArgentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group EBrazil, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Serbia

Group FMexico, Germany, Sweden, South Korea

Group GBelgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group HSenegal, Japan, Poland, Colombia

Our editor’s Fantasy World Cup tips as told to Proper Sport

FANTASY ITEAM

Fantasy Football Scout is supporting Fantasy iTeam, a free World Cup game available on a number of mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch and Android. We have an official Fantasy Football Scout League open to UK users only, with a £1000 of Amazon vouchers to give out, split between the top three performers. There’s also the small matter of £10k worth of prizes available in the main competitions: Overall World Championship and Manager of the Gameround.

Click here for details and here to sign up.

Our League name is Fantasy Football Scout and the pin is 1887.

Please note, users must be over 18 and based in the UK to join our league.

517 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Woy_is_back
    • 1 Year
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Overkill to have Coutinho and Paulinho?

    1. Balls of Steel
      • 3 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Not really

  2. HALFSPACE
    • 1 Year
    6 months, 14 days ago

    433 team

    Navas-Hassen
    Kimmich-Sidibe-Trippier-Maguire-Jansson
    Isco-Coutinho-Asensio-Sanchez-Barrios
    Messi-Griezmann-Werner

    Think a lot of people getting caught up in the active bench stuff, no point having a dead XI to swap in and out dead players

  3. Eden Wizard
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Coutinho is a bargain. Busquets the best 6.5 I’ve noticed so far, lack of viable German options!

    1. Woy_is_back
      • 1 Year
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Paulinho might outscore Coutinho though methinks :/

    2. I Member
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Busquets? No attacking threat whatsoever.

    3. The Nuttman
      • 6 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      I kind of want Kagawa at 6.5, no real reason why though.

      1. socho
        • 1 Year
        6 months, 14 days ago

        Avoid, Out of form

      2. CloudSky
        • 2 Years
        6 months, 14 days ago

        Dont think he even starts this days.

    4. yakirh
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Asensio at 6M looks nice

  4. NUFCAndrew
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    link to mcdonald’s fantasy football?

    1. halnone
      • 8 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      google.com

  5. TaiwanHC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Playing a local game. Pick one:

    A. Hazard (midfielder) - 10,5
    B. Lukaku (attacker) - 11.0

    Thanks!

    1. Critical Observer
      • 2 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Hazard easy peasy.

    2. yakirh
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Hazard

    3. edgardavids
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      At RealFevr:
      A. Hazard (midfielder) - 10,5
      B. Lukaku (attacker) - 8,5

      Still Hazard over Lukaku?

  6. Woy_is_back
    • 1 Year
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Maximum captain, first or second GW?

    1. Jamino
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      2nd for me but depends on your team and their fixtures I guess

    2. Root
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Neither

    3. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Round 7 for me.

  7. Team Sweden
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Is it any app for the official fantasy game?

  8. Siva Mohan
    • 6 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    West Ham are in talks to sign Lazio midfielder Felipe Anderson. The Serie A club want €50m for the player, much higher than the Hammers valuation. (Source: SkySports)

  9. OldBenKenobi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Not sure Im a fan of the rule allowing manual substitutions between games within a round rule on the McDonalds site....

  10. Jamino
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Is Morocco keeper Mohamedi missing or does he go by a different name?

    1. GoonerByron
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      He's called El Kajoui on there (That's who I've gone with too! 🙂 )

      1. Jamino
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        6 months, 14 days ago

        Ah thanks! I couldn’t have him
        In the end plays on the same
        Day as Uruguay twice which is my first keeper. Taking a pint on this Nigerian 4.0 for now

  11. Siva Mohan
    • 6 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    During Round 1 you can make transfers or use WC.. but those transfers will be active only after Round 1 matches are completed?

    1. SW6
      • 6 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Of course

  12. barracuda
    • 1 Year
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Is Caballero first choice?

    1. socho
      • 1 Year
      6 months, 14 days ago

      I dont think so

    2. CloudSky
      • 2 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      60/40 between him and Armani Id say.

    3. barracuda
      • 1 Year
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Thanks

    4. edgardavids
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      One of the biggests doubts currently

  13. socho
    • 1 Year
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Any thoughts on this team 5-2-3:

    Akinfeev

    Meunier-Danilo-Varane-Godin-Gimenez
    Muller - Golovin
    Neymar - Griezmann - Cavani

    Cheers,

    1. Root
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Bench?

      1. socho
        • 1 Year
        6 months, 14 days ago

        4M keeper Belhanda T.Inui A.Zivkovic :/

    2. Critical Observer
      • 2 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      The "5-2-3" or whatever doesn't matter at all in this game as you'll be using your bench and trying to maximize the points, regardless of what positions they come from.

      1. CityWok
        • 2 Years
        6 months, 14 days ago

        Really? I'm going 5-2-3 formation as well. I could maybe try that with my goalkeepers, but on my bench I have 3 £4.5m mids. I dont see the point of playing them. They are just there for an early bench boost and to enable me to afford the players I want. Am I missing something?? .

        1. Critical Observer
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 14 days ago

          You can use your bench, subbing players in and out between matches. If your 2 first-choice midfielders go and blank, you can sub them out... Assuming you have useful subs coming in from the bench.

          In this format, you really should pick 15, instead of 11+4 scrubs.

          1. CityWok
            • 2 Years
            6 months, 14 days ago

            Ok thanks!

        2. Klopptomist - Guardiolas of…
          • 1 Year
          6 months, 14 days ago

          Can sub in a player if one of your starters underperforms

  14. Rainer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Does it say anywhere that you can't use WC & BB in the same round?

    Can't seem to find it, would do so for the 3rd phase of group games.

  15. BESTOFTHEBESTS
    • 1 Year
    6 months, 14 days ago

    1st time playing the mc d fifa game do you need a decent bench for BB and subs etc

    1. CloudSky
      • 2 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Yeah. You can swap your first 11 for subs during the gameweek if they dont perform.

    2. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Yes, it's very much a 15 player game so no passengers.

  16. Scratch
    • 9 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Something that stands out when looking at the fixtures list

    1. Russia have a matchday all to themselves in Week 1 and 2. Considering you can stick or twist with your captaincy, it makes sense to put a decent Russian in your team with that in mind.
    2. France and Argentina play on the same match day throughout the group stage... so from a captaincy perspective it makes little sense to get say Messi / Aguero AND Griezmann / Mbappe

    1. Critical Observer
      • 2 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      If you believe Messi/Aguero AND Griezmann/Mbappe will bring you lots of points, it makes all the sense in the world to have both. In the end, you can only have 1 captain but 11 players scoring points each round.

      1. Jairzinho
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        6 months, 14 days ago

        I think you missed his point completely. You can change your captain each day on this game. Picking two big hitters that play on the same day means you have lesser opportunity to spread the risk.

        1. Critical Observer
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 14 days ago

          I don't think I did but thanks, captain obvious!

          1. Jairzinho
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            6 months, 14 days ago

            Well then what was the point in your post? He made a perfectly valid statement that you argued against just to be a dickhead.

            1. Critical Observer
              • 2 Years
              6 months, 14 days ago

              Dickhead? Who are you and why are you so worked up?

              The point was that if you think players X and Y will score well yet shy away from having both of them in your squad for the reason that they play on the same day, giving you 1 less captaincy option on that day, in a game where you can re-roll the dice on captaincy 6 times per round anyway, then you might want to reconsider. It's been mentioned repeatedly and also proven empirically that in this tournament and with this format, many defenders make excellent captains as well; you are not worse off if 2 of your "big hitters" play the same day, assuming you fancy them to actually score.

    2. edgardavids
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      1. The problem is there are few players to trust, maybe Smolov, Samedov and Akinfeev are the only trustworthy but I’ll rather skip them
      2. Spread the risk unless it’s a guaranteed big haul

  17. NUFCAndrew
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    What’s the current meta of people’s world cup teams for the maccies fantasy football?

    1. UP THE ARSE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Staring blankly at the midfielders list and wishing everyone cost 2m less.

  18. Mahrez The Magician
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Any thoughts on my team !?

    Muslera
    Mendy Iganshevlch (Russian CB) Varela Meunier
    Isco Muller Carrasco
    Neymar Griezmann Cavani

    Bench : Uzoho - Hakimi - N'Diaye - C.Sanchez

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      First 11 looks decent, are the 4 on the bench nailed ? Uou need a full playing 15 for this game.

      1. Mahrez The Magician
        6 months, 14 days ago

        Uzoho 3rd nigerian keeper
        The rest start games

        1. Root
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          6 months, 14 days ago

          I thought Uzoho was likely to start.

          1. FFFrøg⭐️
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            6 months, 14 days ago

            Agreed

    2. edgardavids
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      I don’t trust Carrasco that much, LWB

  19. Karan14 - (RoboKlopp)
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    So Round 1 & 2 are spread over 6 days and Round 3 over 4 days?

    More score for changing captain in the first 2 rounds.

  20. CloudSky
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Zobnin @5.0 looks to be a playing midfielder for Russia. Have yet to find a 4.5 one.

    1. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Oshima from Japan has started 2 of the last 3 friendlies.

      They play tomorrow so keep an eye out.

      1. CloudSky
        • 2 Years
        6 months, 14 days ago

        Noted.

    2. willl
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Alfred Ndiaye starts I think.

  21. Pirlø's Pen
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Views on this lads?

    Pickford
    Meunier Danilo Trippier Kimmich Godin
    James Coutinho
    Lukaku Griezmann Werner

    Nigerian 4.0 Colindres C. Sanchez Ndiaye

    1. El Fenomeno R9
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Looking good,bench all starters ?

      1. Pirlø's Pen
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        6 months, 14 days ago

        I believe so yes!

    2. edgardavids
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Double up on England? I don’t trust them for 3 CS

  22. NUFCAndrew
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Thoughts?

    Muslera Uzoho

    Mendy Sidibe Meunier Varela Vestetgaard

    Isco James Carrasco Cueva Asensio

    Hazard Cavani Salah

  23. juggos
    • 6 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Which WC defenders carry the biggest attacking threat?

    Not seeing many marcelos or jordi albas in the RMTs but seeing mendy and sidibe a lot

    1. edgardavids
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      6 months, 14 days ago

      Marcelo, Kimmich, Alba, Meunier, Kolarov, Trippier, Ramos, Héctor, Cahill, Godín, Fernandes, Ricardo Pereira, Rodríguez, Guerreiro, Granqvist

      1. ★Kuntheman★
        • 3 Years
        6 months, 14 days ago

        Ah, but you have forgotten the 5.0 gold 🙂

  24. michudagawd
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    6 months, 14 days ago

    Is Uzoho the starting keeper for Nigeria?

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      6 months, 9 days ago

      Looks like it.

  25. Wolves42
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    6 months, 14 days ago

    First draft:

    Neuer / Calderon
    Sidibe / Varela / Miranda / Saiss / Sakai
    Rodriguez / Muller / Carrasco / Gudmundsson / Kvist
    Jesus / Messi / Lewandowski

  26. The Overthinker
    • 2 Years
    6 months, 12 days ago

    Best mid for 6?

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      6 months, 9 days ago

      Cueva