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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 1, 2009

Serbia's Antic ready to take risks against France

Serbia coach Radomir Antic is ready to throw caution to the wind when his side take on France at home in their World Cup Group Seven qualifier on Sept 9.

A win at Red Star's Marakana stadium would seal Serbia's berth in next year's finals in South Africa if France fail to beat Romania on Saturday.

"The outcome of the France v Romania match could obviously have a huge impact on the standings but whatever happens, we will come at them with full force on home soil," Antic told a news conference on Tuesday.

"We've had a great run so far and we want to put the icing on the cake of our qualifying campaign against the French.

"We need to turn the national euphoria into positive energy on and off the pitch because that can be a telling factor in a match like this.

"Our strategy is to win every match and establish ourselves as a force to be reckoned with, but we are aware that we will be up against a great team with an abundance of talent.

"We have plenty of good players too and I am pleased that the key ones are in good form, notably our captain Dejan Stankovic who scored a cracker in the Milan derby.

"I am also delighted that Nemanja Vidic has made a great return from injury for Manchester United because he is the backbone of our defence."

Serbia top the group with 18 points from seven matches, five more than France who have a game in hand. Lithuania have nine from six, while Austria and Romania have seven points each from six games.

The Serbians are at home to Romania and away to Lithuania in their final two qualifiers, as they bid to reach a major tournament for the first time as an independent nation.

Some media in Belgrade have billed the clash with France as the "match of the decade" and tickets for the 55,000 seats sold out in only a few hours.

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