Branislav Ivanovic eyes World Cup qualification with Austria win
Serbia captain Branislav Ivanovic has spoken about the team's unity as they look to cement their place in next year's World Cup finals in Russia.
The Zenit St. Petersburg star has seen the highs and lows of the country, and he is keen to finish things off with an important win against Austria.
Wales are currently four points adrift of Serbia heading into the final set of World Cup qualifiers, and Ivanovic has called on his side to maintain their focus with a victory assuring them of a berth in next summer's global tournament.
Ivanovic told FIFA.com: “We’re in a promising position but we haven’t got anywhere yet. We need to get three points across the next two games to be in control of our fate. We have a united team, there’s excellent team spirit in the camp and its producing results, but we mustn’t let our concentration drop. The last two rounds of fixtures will be important for all our rivals, so picking up points won’t be easy. We’ll try to win, but it will be tough. Austria can no longer qualify so they will play without any added pressure.”
Serbia secured a 3-2 triumph over Austria on their home turf nearly a year ago, and Ivanovic is hoping to replicate a similar performance in Vienna on Friday night. Much of Serbia's game revolves around their midfield, and the likes of Dusan Tadic and Nemanja Matic will have key roles to play against Austria, who will be under no pressure following their elimination.
The country faced a huge disappointment on missing out on Euro 2016 in France, but they look set to delight their faithful with a minimum of two points guaranteeing them a World Cup berth in Russia next year. Should Serbia go through, they will be hoping to at least reach the knockout stage, having failed to progress beyond their group in 2010.