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Oct 9, 2021 at 7.45pm UK

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Vlahovic (68')
Pavlovic (22'), Duricic (45+3')

Preview: Luxembourg vs. Serbia - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Luxembourg vs. Serbia - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Luxembourg and Serbia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Serbia will be looking to claim all three points and stay close behind Group A leaders Portugal, when they travel to Luxembourg on Saturday evening for their 2022 World Cup qualifier.

The two nations – who are separated by 66 places in the FIFA world rankings – faced each other in September, with the Orlovi securing a comfortable 4-1 victory on home soil.

Match preview

Luxembourg's slim hopes of qualifying for their first ever major tournament remain alive, after claiming six points from a possible 12 available in Group A.

A narrow 1-0 victory away against the Republic of Ireland in March was followed by a 3-1 defeat at home against European giants Portugal, however they bounced back to claim a 2-1 win against Azerbaijan on home soil last month.

The Red Lions' most recent World Cup qualifier ended in defeat against Saturday's opponents Serbia, a nation they have failed to beat in each of their previous three meetings.

Luc Holtz's men, who have a game in hand on the other four nations in Group A, are still dreaming of competing in Qatar next year, and a victory this weekend would provide them with a major boost towards finishing in the top two.

Serbia, meanwhile, will be confident of advancing to next year's World Cup, after winning three and drawing two of their five games in Group A, to leave them sitting two points behind leaders Portugal and five points clear of Luxembourg in third place.

A brace from Aleksandar Mitrovic helped the Orlovi secure a 4-1 win against the Red Lions in their fourth group match, however they missed the chance to move level on points with Portugal at the summit, as a Nikola Milenkovic own goal in the 86th minute rescued a point for Republic of Ireland, who secured a 1-1 draw against them in Dublin last month.

Dragan Stojkovic will have been disappointed to have seen his side come away without all three points after dominating large spells of the game, however there are still four more fixtures left to play for them to try and catch Portugal at the top.

Serbia will mostly likely rely on the prolific brilliance of Mitrovic in attack once again; the 27-year-old has scored 10 goals in 11 league games for Fulham so far this season, and has also found the net seven times in five World Cup qualifiers – only Netherlands forward Memphis Depay has scored as many.

With a crucial battle against Portugal to come in November, victories against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan this month will be required if they are to consolidate their place in the top two of Group A.

Luxembourg World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Luxembourg form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Serbia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Serbia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Luxembourg forward Gerson Rodrigues, who has scored three goals in five qualification matches, was sent off deep into stoppage time against Serbia and so is suspended for this weekend's game, with Maurice Deville set to start in his place.

Sebastien Thill, who scored a dramatic winner for Sheriff Tiraspol against Real Madrid in the Champions League last month, will likely remain in central midfield alongside his brother Olivier Thill, who found the net against Serbia last time out.

Holtz is expected to continue with a five-man defence, which will likely include Enes Mahmutovic and Dirk Carlson as well as New York City FC's Maxime Chanot.

As for Serbia, Stojkovic is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup that played against Luxembourg.

Monaco's 20-year-old centre-back Strahinja Pavlovic could keep his place in the back three alongside Fiorentina pair Milenkovic and Matija Nastasic, while Nemanja Maksimovic and Nemanja Gudelj are set to start in central midfield.

Serbia captain Dusan Tadic, who has provided five assists in as many World Cup qualifier appearances, is expected to play with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in an advanced midfield role, behind star striker Mitrovic.

Luxembourg possible starting lineup:
Moris; Jans, Mahmutovic, Chanot, Carlson, Pinto; Martins Pereira, S. Thill, O. Thill; Sinani, Deville

Serbia possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Milenkovic, Nastasic, Pavlovic; Lazovic, Maksimovic, Gudelj, Kostic; Milinkovic-Savic, Tadic; Mitrovic

We say: Luxembourg 0-3 Serbia

Serbia are still in with a chance of finishing their qualification campaign top of Group A, with a crucial encounter against Portugal to come, so they cannot afford to drop points on Saturday.

The suspension of Rodrigues is a blow for Luxembourg and they may struggle to pose a threat in the final third this weekend, while the visitors have plenty of firepower and as favourites should win comfortably.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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