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Milivojevic On His Way To World Cup

4 June 2018

Luka Milivojevic will be Palace's sole representative at this summer's World Cup after he was included in Serbia's 23-man squad for the tournament.

The midfielder had initially been included in Mladen Krstajić's provisional squad, but that has now been whittled down to the allotted 23 players with the most high-profile omission being Schalke defender Matija Nastasic, previously of Manchester City.

Milivojevic will now have to opportunity to try and force himself in Serbia's starting XI for their opening group game against Costa Rica next week, beginning with a friendly against Chile in Austria on Monday night, before they face Bolivia in Graz on Saturday.

They will also face Switzerland and Brazil in the group stages, and the Palace man expects it'll be a hotly contested group.

Speaking to the Palace matchday programme earlier this season, he said: “The group is very strong. When you play against Brazil, you’re playing against the best national team in the world. They’re going to be favourites to win the World Cup, but I’m very excited to play against them.

“I read in some Serbian newspapers that Brazil will be first in the group, we will be second and then it’ll be Switzerland and Costa Rica, but I think people from Switzerland and Costa Rica will think the same as us.

“To be honest, Brazil are favourites to finish top of the group, and the other three teams will fight very hard to take second position. If we finish second in the group, that will be a big success for our national team, but even if do we might then have to play against Germany!”

Milivojevic is one of a number of Premier League representatives in the Serbia squad, including Nemanja Matic, Marko Grujic, Dusan Tadic and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Serbia squad for 2018 World Cup:

Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar).

Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina).

Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade).

Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica).

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