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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Serbia set for smooth Nations League success against Lithuania

Kosovo could cause concerns for Azeribaijan

Aleksandar Mitrovic in action for Serbia
1 of 1

Nations League
From 5pm Friday

Serbia impressed at the World Cup despite failing to get past the group stage and can kick off their Nations League campaign with a comfortable success over Lithuania in Vilnius.

One of the upsides of the Nations League is that it pits teams of similar ability against each other but there is a big class gap between Serbia, who have genuine aspirations of doing well at major tournaments, and Lithuania, who finished fifth of six in their World Cup qualifying group, winning one of ten games.

Serbia are the only one of the 15 League C teams who qualified for the World Cup and have scope to move up the tiers thanks to a squad with plenty of depth and featuring some exciting players.

Outstanding Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is at the start of his international career and Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is approaching the best years of his career having played a key role in getting the Cottagers promoted.

Both are in the squad to face Lithuania and can play their part in helping the Serbs to a routine victory.

Kosovo had a harsh introduction to competitive international football, collecting just one point in World Cup qualifying, but they can fare better in the Nations League, starting with a positive result away to Azerbaijan.

It has taken some time for Kosovo's players to get used to working together but there is some quality in their ranks and it has shone through in recent friendlies.

Kosovo have won their last four games, including a 3-0 success over Albania in neutral Zurich.

They should be able to compete on fairly even terms with Azerbaijan, who won three of their ten World Cup qualifiers despite being in the same section as San Marino.

Serbia -1 on Asian handicap
1pt 9-10 188bet
Kosovo or draw double chance
1pt 8-11 BoyleSports, Sky Bet

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