Coach Dragon Stojkovic yesterday said Serbia will have no other option but to attack against African giants Cameroon when the two sides clash in the a FIFA World Cup Group G clash today.
Serbia lost to former World Cup champions Brazil in the first round at Lusail Stadium last week while Cameroon - also known as ‘The Indomitable Lions’ - were edged by Switzerland when the two sides played Al Janoub Stadium on Thursday.
“Are we going to be offensive? Well, we will be because in order to score a goal, you have to attack. We must be a compact team that knows exactly what it is doing on the field,” Stojkovic said at a news conference yesterday.
“We hope that we will be at our best level and that through our style of play we will be able to tame the ‘lions’. I believe in my team and I think that, as far as we are concerned, everything will be fine. We will try to come out with the strongest team against Cameroon,” Stojkovic told reporters.
“Serbia will play for a win as it has played in the last two years. We respect all our rivals and we respect Cameroon. They are a very strong team and they can cause problems for everyone,” he said.
“I remember in the 90s they had players like Roger Milla. I don’t know what they achieved during their last World Cup but I have a lot of respect for African football and a team like Cameroon has players who are legends of world football. They have had quality players the people of Cameroon can be proud of.
“They still have very good players, fast and dangerous in counterattacks,” the Serbian coach said.
Stojkovic said Serbia will ring changes for today’s clash and bring in winger Filip Kostic who did not play against Brazil in their 2-0 loss.
“The situation is not excellent, but I am satisfied compared to what we had before. The situation is better and that makes me happy,” Stojkovic said yesterday.
“He has been training well with the team for the last two sessions. I liked the intensity he worked at, which shows he is ready to play. I am glad he is fit and that we can count on him,” he added.
“I can’t say if he will be playing but he is one of the potential players, which was not the case earlier.
“The way he runs and his physical engagement in training has shown that is going to be okay and that makes me very happy,” he added.
Stojkovic knows a tricky scenario awaits Serbia who would be knocked out if Brazil fail to win their match against Switzerland today. Meanwhile, Cameroon will be out of the tournament if they lose and Switzerland fail to win against five-time World Cup winners Brazil.
Cameroon coach Rigobert Song yesterday candidly admitted his team needed their A-game today.
“We’re in a difficult situation (after losing to Switzerland in the first round),” Song said. “It’s a decisive game but my team is fully ready for this match.”
Cameroonian right back right back Collins Fai yesterday said his team must deliver a better performance than they did against Switzerland.
“We didn’t give everything in the first game and we left with a lot of regrets,” Fai, 30, said yesterday.
“This game was an important message for us, you pay dearly for every mistake at the highest level,” he added in an interview with the AP wire service.


Serbia vs Cameroon

When: Today, 1pm
Where: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Capacity: 44,325

Key stats:

Cameroon and Serbia are looking for their first points of the tournament after suffering opening-round defeats to Switzerland and Brazil respectively.
Serbia have lost nine of their last 11 World Cup games, last beating Costa Rica 1-0 in the 2018 group stage.
Cameroon have not qualified for the knockout phase since their quarter-final appearance in 1990 and are without a win at the finals since 2002, after missing out in 2018 and losing all of their group stage games in 2010 and 2014.
Serbia have exited the tournament in the group stage in each of their last three appearances - 2006 (as Serbia & Montenegro), 2010 and 2014.
Serbia are aiming to qualify for the knockout round for the first time since 1998, when they competed as Yugoslavia.

Previous meetings:

Serbia beat Cameroon 4-3 in their only previous meeting in a friendly in 2010.
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