Juventus pair do not start Brazil vs. Serbia at World Cup

Dusan Vlahovic and Filip Kostic are only on the bench for Serbia against Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar, as their coach blamed Juventus for their fitness problems.

It kicks off at 19.00 GMT and is their opening fixture in the tournament.

Coach Dragan Stojkovic had already complained in interviews yesterday that Kostic was in bad shape after a very busy campaign for the Bianconeri.

He pointed to Max Allegri for that, noting the winger had been “squeezed dry” and over-played when dealing with muscular issues in recent weeks.

Vlahovic had been struggling over the last month with a recurring groin inflammation that flared up when he would intensify training sessions.

He seemed to be back to full fitness lately, but is only on the bench for the crucial match against Brazil.

There are other Serie A players involved, including Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, Torino midfielder Sasa Lukic and Toro goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.

As for Brazil, Juventus pair Alex Sandro and Danilo start, with his club teammate Gleison Bremer on the bench.

Brazil: Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro; Casemiro, Paqueta; Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius; Richarlison

Serbia: V Milinkovic-Savic; Veljkovic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic; Zivkovic, Lukic, Gudelj, Mladenovic; S Milinkovic-Savic, Tadic; Mitrovic

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