Penpix of Serbia squad
Vladimir Stojkovic (Sporting Lisbon). Goalkeeper. Born July 28 1983. Caps 30. Goals 0.
The unsettled goalkeeper, on loan to Premier League side Wigan, has been in outstanding form for Serbia although he has struggled in each of his clubs since he left Red Star Belgrade in 2006. He is an excellent shot-stopper but is error-prone when dealing with crosses and coming off his line. Still, he is likely to be the first choice for the World Cup.
Bojan Isailovic (Zaglebie Lubin). Goalkeeper. Born March 25 1980. Caps 3. Goals 0.
The towering Isailovic has been a commanding figure in each of his clubs and also a worthy understudy to Stojkovic. He has impressed in his two international appearances and his good performances in the Serbian first division have been rewarded with a move to the Polish first division.
Zeljko Brkic (Vojvodina Novi Sad). Goalkeeper. Born July 9 1986. Caps 2. Goals 0.
Serbia's under-21 goalkeeper has every chance of making the World Cup squad after an outstanding performance in a 3-0 win over Japan in a friendly in April. Brkic has quick hands and is confident coming off his line.
Andjelko Djuricic (Uniao Leiria). Goalkeeper. Born Nov. 21 1980. Caps 0.
Djuricic has been called up as cover as neither of the three goalkeepers above him in the pecking order have done enough to impress Antic. He has had a good season with his Portuguese first division club.
Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea). Defender. Born Feb. 22 1984. Caps 29 Goals: 4.
A versatile defender who plays either as right back or centre-back, Ivanovic has peaked since his move to Chelsea from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008. He is a menace in the air at both ends, reads the game well and times his tackling to perfection but he lacks pace.
Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United). Defender. Born Oct. 21 1981. Caps 44. Goals 2.
Vidic is Serbia's key player and their fortunes in South Africa largely depend on his form. He was in the 2006 Serbia and Montenegro World Cup squad but played no part in the former country's disappointing group stage exit because of suspension followed by a knee injury. A no-nonsense tough-tackling defender, he is unrivalled in the air and has been the backbone of Serbia's defence since he broke into the first team in 2002.
Aleksandar Lukovic (Udinese). Defender. Born Oct 23 1982. Caps 19. Goals 0.
Started as left back at his former club Red Star Belgrade but switched to a more natural position in the centre of defence after moving to Serie A. Lukovic was overlooked during Serbia's futile Euro 2008 qualifying campaign and made an immediate impact after he was recalled for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
Aleksandar Kolarov (Lazio). Defender. Born Nov. 10 1985. Caps 10. Goals 0.
A midfielder in his club and left back for his country, Kolarov has caught the eye of European giants such as Real Madrid and AC Milan after an excellent season in Serie A. His marauding runs down the wing and a thunderous left foot from set pieces have made him Serbia's first choice in the latter stages of their road to South Africa.
Antonio Rukavina (Munich 1860). Defender. Born Jan. 26 1984. Caps 19. Goals 0.
A right back with plenty of pace who likes to come forward and his raids down the right flank have often proved useful. However, his defending leaves something to be desired and he had a difficult season with Borussia Dortmund before he moved to the German second division in 2009.
Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund). Defender. Born Dec. 10 1988. Caps 10. Goals 1
The tall centre-back made his debut for Serbia during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, after he was cleared by FIFA to change his soccer nationality following appearances for the U.S. under-20 team. Good in the air but not as comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Ivan Obradovic (Real Zaragoza). Defender. Born July 25 1988. Caps 10. Goals 1.
The young and promising left back made a terrific start to his international career in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers after equally impressive performances for his former club Partizan Belgrade. However, he faded after last year's move to the Spanish first division.
Slobodan Rajkovic (Twente Enschede). Defender. Born Feb. 3 1989. Caps 0. Goals 0.
Signed by Chelsea in 2007 but moved to PSV Eindhoven on loan the same year without making an appearance for the West Londoners. He was in turn shipped out by PSV in 2008 to fellow Dutch rivals Twente, where he has been in excellent form and is a natural replacement for any of Serbia's more experienced defenders.
Jagos Vukovic (PSV Eindhoven). Defender. Born June 6 1988. Caps 2. Goals 0.
Spent four seasons in Serbian football with Rad Belgrade before he was loaned to his present club in 2009, scoring on his debut after coming on as a substitute. The loan became a permanent move in April last year but he has failed to impress since. Unlikely to play a part in South Africa.
Dejan Stankovic (Inter Milan). Midfielder. Born Nov. 9 1978. Caps 86. Goals 13.
Serbia's captain and most capped player plays deeper than he used to at his prime but his composure and all-round abilities are vital to the team's cohesion. Stankovic has enjoyed a second lease of life at his present club and is a fans' favourite for his tireless running as well as his selfless hard work.
Milos Krasic (CSKA Moscow). Midfielder. Born Nov. 1 1984. Caps 29. Goals 2.
Serbia's 2009 Footballer of the Year is being sized up by some of Europe's leading clubs after several fine seasons in the Russian first division and an outstanding 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. Krasic has pace and a wide repertoire of tricks but he needs to control his volatile temper.
Zdravko Kuzmanovic (Vfb Stuttgart). Midfielder. Born Nov. 22 1987. Caps 25. Goals 4.
Kuzmanovic is a utility central midfielder with an eye for goal and his runs into the penalty box behind the strikers are a constant threat to the opposition. Made his debut for Serbia in 2007 and has been an important player for them since, after FIFA cleared him to play for the Serbians following four appearances for the Swiss under-21 side.
Milan Jovanovic (Standard Liege). Midfielder. Born April 18 1981. Caps 24. Goals 9.
Serbia's top scorer in qualifying with five goals has made a stunning impact on his return to the national team under Radomir Antic, having been dropped by Spaniard Javier Clemente for Euro 2008 qualifiers. Jovanovic can play either as left wing or in a more advanced role behind a lone striker.
Zoran Tosic (Manchester United). Midfielder. Born April 28 1987. Caps 18. Goals 4.
The diminutive left winger is an impact substitute pushing for a spot in the starting eleven after a good second half of the season with Bundesliga side Cologne, where he is on loan. Tosic has also been in fine form for Serbia recently, scoring four goals in his last four international appearances.
Gojko Kacar (Hertha Berlin). Midfielder. Born Jan. 26 1987. Caps 15. Goals 0.
A versatile midfielder, he has struggled this season after an excellent start in German football following his 2008 move from the Serbian first division. Worthy of a place in the first eleven if he rediscovers his form, otherwise a likely substitute for a spot in the centre of midfield.
Nenad Milijas (Wolverhampton Wanderers). Midfielder. Born April 30 1983. Caps 15. Goals 3.
The left-footed central midfielder has played in fits and starts for his new club since his move to the Premier League from Red Star Belgrade in 2009. He passes the ball around with ease and can be deadly from set pieces but lack of pace is his glaring weakness. He has been a regular starter for Serbia throughout their World Cup 2010 qualifying campaign.
Milos Ninkovic (Dynamo Kiev). Midfielder. Born Dec. 25 1984. Caps 7. Goals 0.
A central midfielder and a utility player used mainly as a substitute in Serbia's 2010 World Cup qualifiers. His participation in the finals hangs in the balance because he is competing with several high-profile players in his position. He has been a stalwart for Dynamo Kiev since he joined the Ukrainian side in 2004.
Radosav Petrovic (Partizan Belgrade). Midfielder. Born March 8 1989. Caps 6. Goals 0.
A tall defensive midfielder who is good in the air and likes to work hard for the team, hence he has been able to hold on to his place in Antic's squad during the qualifiers despite fierce criticism from the pundits.
Nemanja Tomic (Partizan Belgrade). Midfielder. Born Jan. 21 1988. Caps 1. Goals 1.
Scored on his debut in a 3-0 win against Japan in April and could sneak into the squad as cover for Milos Krasic, being the only other natural right wing after a knee injury has ruled out the more heralded Bosko Jankovic. Tomic can deliver a decent cross into the penalty box and is a good free kick taker.
Nemanja Matic (Chelsea). Midfielder. Born Aug. 1 1988. Caps 2. Goals 0.
Two good seasons at Slovakian first division side Kosice earned the versatile midfielder, who can be moved across the pitch, a 2009 move to Chelsea but he has made only two first-team appearances for the English champions. Faces strong competition to break into the 23-man squad.
Nikola Zigic (Valencia). Striker. Born Dec. 25 1980. Caps 42. Goals 16.
Serbia's first-choice hitman stands at 2.02 metres but aerial power is not his only strength as he has rifled in a several spectacular long-range goals with both feet for club and country. He was more prolific at Red Star Belgrade and Racing Santander than Valencia, where he has struggled to play regular first team football.
Marko Pantelic (Ajax Amsterdam). Striker. Born Sept. 15 1978. Caps 29. Goals 5.
A striker with many talents and a few flaws, Pantelic has played for 11 clubs during his career and peaked during a 2005-2009 spell at Hertha Berlin, where he scored 45 goals in 114 appearances. Has also been in good form since moving to his present club but has to learn to be less selfish.
Danko Lazovic (Zenit St. Petersburg). Striker. Born May 17 1983. Caps 34. Goals 10.
Lazovic's participation in the finals hangs in the balance after a thigh muscle injury. He is a talented striker with plenty of pace, used mainly as a substitute in the qualifiers.
Dragan Mrdja (Vojvodina Novi Sad). Striker. Born Jan. 23 1984. Caps 3. Goals 2.
Mrdja had little hope of making the World Cup squad before a blistering two-goal performance in Serbia's 3-0 friendly win over Japan, when he won praise from Antic and the media. A versatile forward who can play up front or in a deeper role either side of a lone striker.
Dejan Lekic (Red Star Belgrade). Striker. Born June 7 1985. Caps 3. Goals 0.
Lekic made an immediate impact in the Serbian first division after joining Red Star from second division side Zemun, scoring 11 goals in his first 21 appearances for the 1991 European Cup winners. He has found the going tougher in international appearances and is unlikely to be in Antic's 23-man World Cup squad.
Miralem Sulejmani (Ajax Amsterdam). Midfielder. Born Dec. 5 1988. Caps 6. Goals 0.
The talented left wing has gone through a rapid decline in form in the past year, and consequently been dropped from the first team squad back to the under-21 side. He also lost his place in the Ajax starting line-up but could sneak into the World Cup squad because of Lazovic's injury.