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Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 13:53 UK

World Cup 2010: Serbia cut Chelsea pair from squad

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Chelsea duo Slobodan Rajkovic and Nemanja Matic have been dropped by Serbia coach Radomir Antic as he trimmed his World Cup squad to 24.

Miralem Sulejmani, Jagos Vukovic, Nemanja Tomic and Dejan Lekic were also deemed surplus to requirements.

Star striker Nikola Zigic was retained and says he does not feel any extra pressure after being tipped by Antic to be one of the stars in South Africa.

"The coach's words are not a burden," said the giant Valencia forward.

"It's good that Antic praised me and I will try to justify his confidence.

"I always give my best for Serbia and it will always be that way."

Defenders Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic are familiar faces in the squad.

Striker Milan Jovanovic who is set to join Liverpool is included, alongside Inter Milan star Dejan Stankovic.

WORLD CUP PHOTO ALBUM

The only new blood is goalkeeper Andjelko Djuricic who has been brought in to challenge established number one Vladimir Stojkovic of Wigan Athletic.

Wolves midfielder Nenad Milijas, who was a regular in Serbia's successful qualifying campaign, was also named in the preliminary squad.

Manchester United's Zoran Tosic has been rewarded for his good form since joining Cologne on loan in January, the 23-year old has scored five goals in 12 Bundesliga games.

But Serbia must do without Sevilla defender Ivica Dragutinovic and Genoa midfielder Bosko Jankovic, both players are injured and out of the World Cup.

Serbia take on Ghana, Germany and Australia in Group D at the finals, with their first match coming on Sunday 13 June against Ghana in Pretoria.


Serbia's revised provisional World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Wigan), Zeljko Brkic (Vojvodina Novi Sad), Bojan Isailovic (Cukaricki Belgrade), Andjelko Djuricic (Leiria).

Defenders: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Antonio Rukavina (Munich 1860), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund), Aleksandar Lukovic (Udinese), Ivan Obradovic (Saragossa), Aleksandar Kolarov (Lazio).

Midfielders: Dejan Stankovic (Inter Milan), Nenad Milijas (Wolverhampton), Miloss Krasic (CSKA Moscow), Milan Jovanovic (Standard Liege), Milos Ninkovic (Dynamo Kiev), Zdravko Kuzmanovic (Stuttgart), Zoran Tosic (Cologne), Gojko Kacar (Hertha Berlin), Radosav Petrovic (Partizan Belgrade).

Forwards: Nikola Zigic (Valencia), Marko Pantelic (Ajax), Danko Lazovic (Zenith), Dragan Mrdja (Vojvodina).



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