Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Serbia will be aiming to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Russia when they take on Turkey at Stadion Rajko Mitic in Belgrade. The Eagles experienced all sorts of problems at the back in their Nations League opener, but it has to be noted that Ljubisa Tumbakovic’s men created a number of clear-cut chances to score. Nemanja Matic is no longer part of the national team, but the former Montenegro boss has a number of top-class players to choose from.
Fulham attacker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who opened his goal-scoring account in the 3-1 defeat to Russia, will be the man to watch in the home team. Turkey failed to impress in a 1-0 loss to Hungary, and given Serbia’s attacking potential, we predict that the visitors are going to return home empty-handed. The two teams meet for the first time ever in a competitive match.
Highlighted Player (Luka Milivojevic):
Born in Kragujevac, Serbia on April 7, 1991, Luka Milivojevic is a product of his home-town club Radnicki Kragujevac. After making 17 appearances for the club in the 2007/2008 season, Milivojevic joined fellow Serbian Super Liga team Rad at the end of the season. The 186-cm-tall midfielder, who is well known for his brilliant long-range shots, played for “Gradjevinari” from 2008 to 2012 and then he moved to famous Serbian club Crvena zvezda (Red Star).
Luka Milivojevic scored seven goals in 36 appearances in the league for the capital club, but at the end of the 2012/2013 season he signed a five-year deal with Belgian outfit Anderlecht. During the 2013/2014 season the Serbian midfielder was on Olympiakos’ radar and he soon joined the Greek giants.
Milivojevic quickly established himself as a first-team regular at Olympiakos, but in January, 2017 the club chiefs decided to sell him to Premier League side Crystal Palace. It has to be noted that the Serbia international scored two goals in 14 appearances for the Eagles in the 2016/2017 Premier League campaign.
Highlighted Team (Turkey):
Present on the international stage since 1923, Turkey only started showing some promise during the 70’s, but they had to wait until the turn of the century to place themselves on the map. While they lost all three fixtures at their first ever European Championship finals in 1996, they fared much better four years later, reaching the last eight in Netherlands and Belgium.
Milli Takim were able to build on that result as they went on to reach the podium at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan, while also finishing third at the 2003 Confederations Cup and making it to the semi-finals at the Euro 2008.
Rustu Receber, Hakan Sukur and Emre Belezoglu were important parts of the country’s most successful generation, but the one including Arda Turan, Selcuk Inan, Burak Yilmaz and Hakan Calhanoglu is threatening to surpass their achievements. As the Turkish Super Lig continues the get stronger, the national team follows, and we should expect some big result from Milli Takim in the near future.