Serbia plan to keep top spot - Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic has admitted that Serbia planning to win their upcoming set of fixtures in order to book their spot in the World Cup finals in Russia next year.
Serbia are currently tied on points with the Republic of Ireland (12) in Group D, but they are overwhelming favourites to beat Moldova at home on Saturday.
The East European nation will thereafter face Ireland in Dublin on Tuesday, and Ivanovic is looking for a positive result from both games, he said: "Subconsciously we are looking to get six points from the two games. We are favourites at home to Moldova on Saturday, after that we go to Ireland, and we have to try and stay in first place. Every match in qualification is decisive, each point is the most important."
Serbia have been playing their recent qualifiers in the 45,000-seated stadium of Red Star Belgrade, but the latest fixture has been moved to the nearby Partizan Stadium after the country's FA deemed the pitch to be in a very bad condition.
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic was also present in the news conference alongside Ivanovic, and he feels that the change of ground will benefit the team's style of play, he said: "I heard that the Red Star stadium is in a very bad condition so it is good for us to play on a pitch that will help our game."
Serbia missed on the previous World Cup in Brazil as they finished third behind Croatia and Belgium in their qualifier group. However, they could consider themselves a bit lucky to have received an easy draw this time around, although things could turn around fast - should they drop points against the likes of Ireland and Austria. Wales remain one of the dark horses in the group following their Euro 2016 efforts, and Serbia will have to guard against any complacency in the final set of games.