Croatia and Serbia will be meeting each other in a very crucial World Cup qualifying match, which also marks the return of the Balkan derby. This is one of the fears national team rivalries in Europe and Croatia had the upper hand in the reverse fixture. They managed to win the match 2-0 and Serbia will be hoping to get revenge for this defeat. The away match makes it extremely difficult for Croatia to hope for another victory, but manager Igor Stimac is aware that it will be very difficult to achieve. Red Star Belgrade’s Marakana stadium will be hosting this match.
Serbia have already deployed a large amount of police force in anticipation for the troubles amongst supporters. Stimac, though, is hoping for a peaceful match on the pitch. Croatia come into the match with the hope that they can close the gap on team leaders Belgium. Belgium have a two-point advantage over Croatia in the table. Only the winner gets to qualify for the World Cup 2014 automatically, while Croatian will have to be involved in a play-off if the table finishes as it is. Belgium will be having a relatively easy match against Scotland on their hands.
Unlike Serbia, they do not have anything to play for in the rest of the campaign.
“We needn’t worry about Serbia if we play at our usual level and beating them tomorrow would be the ideal birthday present because we will be up against a good team with a huge motive to give their fans something to cheer. We know what the chinks in Serbia’s armours are and we will try to put them under pressure from the off like we did in Zagreb although we won’t throw caution to the wind,” said Stimac said in the press conference ahead of the match.