WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Bosnia & Herzegovina

WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Bosnia & Herzegovina

COACH – Safet Susic
BEST SHOWING – This is their first World Cup
QUALIFICATION – Winner of UEFA Qualifying Group G
TOURNAMENT ODDS – 200/1 (SportingBet, BetVictor)
FIXTURES
June 15th – Argentina (2300 BST, Rio de Janeiro, BBC)
June 21st – Nigeria (2300 BST, Cuiaba, BBC)
June 25th – Iran (1700 BST, Salvador, ITV)

 

Button Argentina Button Iran Button Nigeria

 

After losing out in the play-offs to Portugal for World Cup 2010 qualification and Euro 2012 qualification, the Bosnians finally did the trick this time around despite tying with Greece, the difference being Bosnia’s free-scoring. Only Germany, Holland and England found the net more times in the UEFA qualifying campaign and their goal difference of 24 easily overcame the Greeks’ paltry 8.

Recent friendlies however have seen the Bosnian attack shut out. A 2-0 loss against Argentina was perhaps understandable but losing by the same scoreline against Egypt is cause for concern.

Susic has a simplistic tactical approach, opting for 4-4-2 with the midfield four playing in a diamond. In goal he has Asmir Begovic to call on and he could well be a busy man with the defence not looking the strongest unit.

Emir Spahic is the captain at the heart of the defence with Ervin Zukanovic likely to be alongside him. Former German under-18 international Sead Kolasinac lines up on the left with either Mensur Mujdza or Avdija Vrsajevic on the right.

Miralem Pjanic can hold his own in midfield and can be used in either a defensive or attacking role. If Susic opts for Zvjezdan Misimovic it’s more likely to be a defensive role but Senijad Ibricic or Haris Medunjanin could push Pjanic further up. The wingers are likely to be Senad Lulic and Miroslav Stevanovic.

Bosnia’s attack is the pairing of Edin Dzeko and Vebad Ibisevic but if either of them goes down with injury or suspension, options are very thin. Ermin Zec is the only other striker named in the provisional squad.

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ONE TO WATCH


06 WORLD CUP PJANICPjanic could have played for Luxembourg having represented them at under-19 level, but Bosnia and Herzegovina came calling and he opted for them instead.

Pjanic started his career in France at Metz before moving on to Olympique Lyonnais, signing for his current club in 2011.

His versatility is an asset and he can adapt his style of play to the role he adopts in the team. His strengths lie in his short passing, layoffs and his ability to run at opposing defences. He doesn’t just do the simple though, he’s more than capable of carving a defence apart with a sublime through ball and is also a set piece specialist.

 

HERE COMES D-JUDGE
D-Judge

A first World Cup sees Bosnia and Herzegovina drawn into a group where you could argue a case for any of the others to advance with Argentina.

The Bosnian plan is simple and Susic is old school believing in simplicity and motivation. It worked in qualifying and he has a few handy players to work with. Dzeko and Ibisevic can bang them in, Begovic is a quality goalkeeper and Pjanic can pull the strings in midfield. If any of them go down with injury or get sent off, there’s problems though.

Those four apart, the Bosnian squad isn’t the best and lacks depth. Susic isn’t a master tactician either and a Plan B is unlikely should things go against Bosnia.

They have a chance to advance but it’ll be tough as Iran and Nigeria are no mugs. Motivation to overcome the odds again could be Susic’s main tool here.

 

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VERDICT

At the very best they’ll reach the last 16 but I don’t see them getting out of Group F.

world cup Brasil emblem 01

Zvjez-Dan Misimovic (D-Good)
Owls Alive
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