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Nigeria’s opponents, Bosnia, name provisional squad

Nigeria’s opponents, Bosnia, name provisional squad
May 05
21:04 2014

Bosnia-Herzegovina coach, Safet Susic, on Monday presented his provisional 24-man squad for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and backed the side to advance from their group into the last 16.

“We must have a goal; and that goal is to try to go through to the second round, to qualify for the round of 16,” Susic told reporters as he unveiled the list

Squads must be reduced to a maximum of 23 players by the June 2 deadline, with midfielder Mensur Mujdza in a race against time to be fit after tearing ankle ligaments in March. Susic admits that Argentina are “the absolute favourites” in Group F, but he is sure Bosnia can finish ahead of Nigeria and Iran.

“We will play for second place, but I believe that we could find ourselves among the 16 best teams in Brazil,” said the 59-year-old.

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Bosnia, the former Yugoslav republic that gained independence in 1992, will be making its debut at the World Cup finals. Susic’s squad, which he has gradually built since taking over the national team in 2009, will be led by two star strikers in Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic of Stuttgart.

Dzeko and Ibisevic were the second and third best scorers in Bosnia’s European qualifiers for the World Cup, with 10 and 8 goals respectively. Bosnia will kick off their World Cup campaign on June 15 against Argentina, and Susic says Muhamed Besic of Hungary’s Ferencvaros would have the unenviable job of shadowing Lionel Messi.

“He is the only player among the 24 who could stop Messi,” Susic said.

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The players will gather in Sarajevo on May 15 for a first training camp, before leaving on May 27 for the United States.

In the US, they will play two friendlies, against Côte d’Ivoire on May 30 and Mexico four days later.

 

The squad

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Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City/ENG), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka), Jasmin Fejzic (VFR Aalen/GER)

Defenders: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Lugansk/UKR), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke/GER), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor/TUR), Ervin Zukanovic (Gent/BEL), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig/GER), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros/HUN)

Midfielders: Miralem Pjanic (Roma/ITA), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray/TUR), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg/GER), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor/TUR), Senad Lulic (Lazio/ITA), Anel Hadzic (Sturm/AUT), Tino Susic (Hajduk/CRO), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim/GER), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhour Renhe/CHN), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyesspor/TUR), Avdija Vrsaljevic (Hajduk/CRO)

Forwards: Vedad Ibisevic (VfB Stuttgart/GER), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City/ENG), Edin Visca (Istanbul BB/TUR)

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