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Zeko lopove...
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Discussion Starter #141
Mid-week league fixture against the surprise team of the season, TSC Backa Topola, and we did not disappoint. After going to Surdulica and making it look routine on Saturday, we had a difficult fixture against the current fifth placed team at the Marakana, TSC, who with the backing of the Hungarian government have set out to challenge the status quo in Serbian football. Hungary invested approximately 10 million euros into TSC Backa Topola around two years ago with Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister coming last year to honor the club's history and provide the needed backing as the club evolves into a Serbian Super League side. Orban is a huge fan of MOL Fehérvár FC, formerly known as Videoton FC. This investment is seen as a clear signal as to the hope that eventual youth players that are deemed of quality will graduate to the Hungarian league. Given that the project is only in its infancy only time will tell if the project will bear fruit.

TSC Backa Topola has an interesting history and provided the first steps in football to Dusan Tadic, Nikola Zigic and Andrija Kaludjerovic. Tadic started his youth training there before moving onto the youth selections of Vojvodina Novi Sad, while Zigic had his first taste of first team football there before moving onto Crvena Zvezda.

TSC started the season pretty well and were the first placed side after 8 rounds, claiming some large scalps in the form of drawing FK Partizan away, beating Cukaricki at home and drawing Vojvodina Novi Sad away after a win eluded them in the 96th minute. Over the past month their form has suffered a dip, but overall they've become the best side in addition to the traditional four of Zvezda, Partizan, Vojvodina and Cukaricki in the last decade or so.

Milojevic did not take this match lightly, and rightfully alluded to them as the "Surprise of the season" or "Hit prvenstva" up until this point. We rotated but played a good side with Zoltan Sabo, the TSC manager and former Partizan player employing a very well established 4-4-2.

We lined up in the following manner -

Popovic
Gobeljic Milunovic Degenek Jander
Petrovic Vulic
Ben Marin Vukanovic
Tomane​

Subs: Vasiljevic, Pankov, Babic, Gajic, Simic, Ivanic, Pavkov.

Subs that came on included Simic for Vukanovic, Pavkov for Tomane and Gajic for Gobeljic.

Overall, it was a pretty open game and it was refreshing to see TSC coming to Belgrade to play for all 3 points and not settling on countering and hoping for a draw. In the opening half hour they pressed us severely, and it was nice to see some improvement in the standard of Serbian football under Sabo. Possession was 50-50 for most of the first half, however we were carving out the better chances and eventually Tomane scored via header from a Marin free kick from the left hand side of the offensive third. That's Tomane's third goal and I hope he will kick on from this. He seems to be deceptively good in the air.

The second goal game eventually through a good combination between Marin and Gobeljic who received the ball on the right hand side, and fortunately Gobeljic's low cross clipped a TSC defender and went into the net for 2-0. The TSC defender had to intervene as it looked likely that Ben would score if he got the ball on the six, but in trying to prevent a tap in, the TSC defender put the ball into his net.

The second half started, and TSC continued to press and they were ultimately rewarded in the 65th minute when Vulic, who has recently had an uptick in form gave into two through balls through his legs, somewhat unluckily and Jander, similar to our second goal, trying to prevent TSC from scoring put the ball into his own net.

At that point, Milojevic reacted and put on Simic for Vukanovic. Simic injected a dose of pace and freshness that we desperately needed and he in tandem with Petrovic proved to enough to turn the game. Njegos' aggression in the middle of the park right around the time TSC scored ensured us holding the ball more, and ultimately we scored in the 77th minute to put the game to bed with Simic finishing a great and measured cross from Jander who made up for his earlier error.

Jander has incredible pace, and several of us watching the game commented that he might be a good experiment further up the field as a winger. He cuts inside well, has a great touch as well as an excellent shot. Defensively he gets found out at times, and as such, it'd be interesting to see him on the wing.

Overall, we gave a good account of ourselves after the recent run of games where we're playing every 3-4 days. These are the games that win championships and it proved so as Partizan lost to Cukaricki away. This win has now given us a 10 point on our neighbors after 13 rounds, and it is actually Cukaricki who are proving our biggest challengers. Our game in hand is against Cukaricki at home, and that will prove to be a derby in itself when we meet in a couple of weeks time.

Man of the match has to go to Njegos Petrovic as his aggression changed the game in a tough moment for us.

League standings and highlights are below. We face Proleter Novi Sad in Novi Sad tomorrow for round 15 of 37 in the league, before we turn our attention to matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League against Tottenham next Wednesday, November 6th.

League Standings (after round 14 of 37):

1. FK Crvena Zvezda 13 mp, 36 points
2. FK Cukaricki 13 mp, 32 points
3. FK Vojvodina Novi Sad 14 mp, 30 points
4. FK Partizan 13 mp, 26 points
5. TSC Backa Topola 14 mp, 25 points
6. FK Radnicki Nis 14mp, 25 points
7. FK Vozdovac 14 mp, 24 points
8. FK Mladost Lucani 14 mp, 18 points

As a reminder, there will still be a 7 match play-off (where the top 8 sides play each other once) after 30 rounds for a total of 37 rounds, however the division of points after 30 rounds has been removed, and as such all 37 fixtures count the same unlike last season.

Highlights:

_D2BP-SfX8M
 

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Zeko lopove...
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Discussion Starter #142
Excellent win on the weekend against Proleter Novi Sad, away from home. It was a tough fixture as Proleter set out to defend and namely hit us on the counter for the entire game. There were several times we were in their half, all 21 players, excluding Borjan. Milojevic rotated after the fixture in mid-week against TSC and we played in the following manner -

Borjan
Gajic Pankov Milunovic Rodic
Canas Vulic
Mateo Marin Simic
Pavkov

Subs: Popovic, Degenek, Babic, Jovancic, Jevtovic, Boakye, Krstovic.

We played relatively okay but didn't really muster much in the first half outside of a great Gajic cross which Pavkov missed for a tap in. In the second half we started wearing them down as the pressure they were under started to show fatigue, and ultimately a lack of concentration cost them as two Proleter players went after Rodic in 2v2 situation, which meant Simic was left free. After playing well for 20 minutes against TSC, Simic got the full start here, and his run down the line with a great ball by Rodic made the first goal. Simic then crossed and it was Mateo who was first to it, ensuring we took the lead in the 60th minute.

After that, things were a bit easier, and in the last 30 minutes, Jevtovic came on for Pavkov, Boakye came on for Simic and Jovancic came on for Vulic. We imposed ourselves when Boakye and Pavkov were in the game, and right after Jevtovic came on, he had a great slalom run in which he setup almost a carbon copy of the first goal, except this time Boakye finished the chance in the 82nd minute.

Overall, most of the team played solidly with the best player for me being Milan Gajic. He was getting really high up the pitch and was opening the field rather nicely. It was a shame not many of our players could read him, outside of Marin and Garcia. The worst player for us in this game, and it's a bit worrisome was Canas. He just didn't have good touches after stringing together a couple of passes, namely when breaking into the offensive third. I hope that his form will improve however it must be said this is his third full game after injury, so it's not as if he is not getting the playing time, especially for a player of his experience.

Jevtovic was also solid off the bench and I'm hopeful Miloje continues to use him as a joker, as he has a good sense on when to dribble, something this side lacks. However, given his overall short comings, mainly defensively, I hope he continues to come off the bench.

Cukaricki dropped points away to Macva in Sabac this weekend so we extended our lead over 2nd place to six points, ensuring a good weekend for us in the league. Highlights are below. Upcoming is Tottenham at home in Belgrade on Wednesday, for Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League.

After 15 of 37 rounds (Zvezda vs Cukaricki and Radnik Surdulica vs Partizan with a game in hand):

1. FK Crvena Zvezda 14mp, 39 points
2. FK Cukaricki 14mp, 33 points
3. FK Vojvodina 15mp, 30 points
4. FK Partizan 14mp, 29 points
5. TSC Backa Topola 15mp, 28 points
6. FK Vozdovac 15mp, 25 points
7. FK Radnicki Nis 15mp, 25 points
8. FK Spartak Subotica 15mp, 21 points

 

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Zeko lopove...
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Discussion Starter #143 (Edited)
Excellent build up to the match versus Tottenham tomorrow. Milojevic has struck me with his positive attitude today at the press conference where he joked "We will give our all, but this is not playstation..." :D love that. Miloje is a phenomenon. 2 years after coming to the club he has 100 victories in his pocket out of 139 official matches played. He has only tasted defeat in 14 games. That's a winning percentage of 71.94 percent. On average our team tends to win by 3:1 as overall goals scored vs goals against is 306:101 under his tenure. Just illustrates how effective he really is.

There are some debates as to who should start tomorrow, primarily in the center of the pitch as well as on the wings. As a reminder Ben and Milan Gajic were not registered for the UEFA Champions League given limitations on youth and the thought that Ben was going to be sold... as such the debate is really who should partner Vulic in the middle and if Van la Parra should start on the left wing.

For me this would be my preferred starting 11 -

Borjan
Gobeljic Milunovic Degenek Rodic
Petrovic Jovancic
Mateo Marin Vukanovic
Boakye

Subs: Popovic, Pankov, Jander, Canas, Vulic, Van la Parra, Pavkov.

I think we need the battle and physicality of Petrovic and Jovancic to combat the Sissoko-Ndombele partnership that Vulic-Canas could not get close to last match. I also think Vukanovic would be in an inspired mood here and would provide a lot of cover defensively, however I could also see the rationale to playing Van la Parra there. That's the only real dilemma for me in this match.

Knowing Milojevic I think he'll prefer Canas-Vulic in the middle and Van la Parra on the wing, but I hope there is a surprise in there somewhere for Pochettino and his men, otherwise it will be hard to see how we try and overturn the tide of the game in the middle of the park, the main reason we lost in London.

The battle in the middle and the lack of opportunities for a Spurs transition are keys to getting a positive result out of this game. We have to limit our turnovers in dangerous areas of the pitch as that is when Spurs are at their best with Son, Kane, and Alli knowing how to finish a quick move. Lamela, Winks, Vertonghen and Aurier have not travelled to Belgrade which is great news for us. Lamela played well against us in London and Aurier made VLP's life difficult, but if Foyth starts the game at right back which I believe he will, whoever plays on the left wing has an excellent chance to cause them a surprise there.

AJDE ZVEZDO!
 

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Much better attendance against Tottenham than Olympiakos
 

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Ughh Danny Rose is playing. He's gonna cry racism no matter what
 

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Ffs spurs just had 10 chances in 5 seconds kept hitting the post and finally put it in.

1-0 34th minute
 

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Halftime 1-0

We had 2 chances in the 23rd and 44th minutes but luck was not on our side. Much better half than the previous game vs Tottenham. Still in 3rd as Bayern beat Olympiakos 2-0 in the earlier game
 

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Jander on for Gobeljic at the start of the 2nd half
 

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Jander missed a slide tackle by a mile and Son easily put it past Borjan in the 57th minute
 

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Ugh 3-0 Son again with an easy goal
 

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Pavkov has to come off after 78 minutes due to an ankle injury. We are now down to 10 men as we used all of subs
 

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This new forum layout sucks


..

The team and fans look and sound so deflated now in the 83rd minute
 

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And Spurs score their 4th as Eriksen scores a deflection goal that went between canas' legs. 86th minute
 

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Boakye comes off in the 93rd minute due to a dirty tackle from Oliver Skipp.

Game over 4-0, still in 3rd place after 4 games
 

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Their second and third goals are the type you score when playing a noob in Fifa who doesn't know the controls
 

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63-37 possession for Tottenham
17 - 5 attempts for Tottenham says it all
 

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Boakye comes off in the 93rd minute due to a dirty tackle from Oliver Skipp.

Game over 4-0, still in 3rd place after 4 games
Which is exactly where we belong. Just need to get a result against the Germans as I fear we will get bent over in Athens.
 

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Tottenham fired their coach, we can move into 2nd when we win our next to games and they potentially only get 1 point from their 2 games
 

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Tottenham fired their coach, we can move into 2nd when we win our next to games and they potentially only get 1 point from their 2 games
They hired Jose Mourinho
 

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Olympiakos leads 1-0 in the 13th minute vs Tottenham putting them in 3rd

Bayern are blasting a lot of shots at Borjan
 
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