Croatia coach Igor Štimac will be hoping for 3 points for his birthday today when his side takes on Serbia in a World Cup qualifier in Belgrade tonight (20:45). Štimac, who turns 46 today, says he is not expecting a warm welcome from the Serbian fans tonight and that he has come to Belgrade to win.
“Never have we secured 2nd (qualifying) spot this early before, Croatia in Belgrade do not have to rush, but we have come here to win. Victory would be the best birthday present for my birthday,” said Štimac.
Croatia’s captain Darijo Srna said that Croatia will need to be patient tonight. “We have to be smart and will cool heads wait for our chances,” said Srna, adding that he is not interested in how group leaders Belgium will go against Scotland tonight and that Croatia needs to concentrate on its own job. Croatia trails Belgium by 3 points and are expected to play it tight in Belgrade tonight without taking too many risks.
Likely starting XI: Pletikosa – Srna, Šimunić, Ćorluka, Vida (Lovren) – Rakitić, Modrić, Vukjoević, Perušić, – Manđžukić, Olić (da Silva)