Netherlands opens another search for World Cup success, Serbia seeks good showing

Savo Milosevic idolized Marco van Basten when he played for the Netherlands.

The admiration is mutual. Now that Van Basten is coaching the Dutch team, he appreciates Milosevic's talent in leading Serbia-Montenegro.

"I used to watch him all the time," Milosevic said Saturday, a day before his team was set to face the Netherlands in Group C at the World Cup. "Marco was one of my biggest idols."

Van Basten returned the praise.

"He is a clever player. I like him very much," Van Basten said of the veteran striker who will try to pierce the "oranje" defense on Sunday.

The Netherlands, a team still without a World Cup title, and Serbia-Montenegro, a team now without a country, will face each other in a game of exhilarating attack against sterling defense.

The Netherlands' attacking 4-3-3 lineup will be spearheaded by the Premier League trio of Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy, Chelsea's Arjen Robben and in-from Arsenal winger Robin van Persie.

In contrast, the Balkan team will rely on a defensive 4-4-2, one which conceded only one goal in 10 World Cup qualifying games.

Even though Serbia-Montenegro split into its two constituent countries last month, the cohesion among the players is its strength, Milosevic said.

"We are ready and really have a great atmosphere," he added.

Milosevic said he was convinced the team would be able to overcome the first-match suspension of Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic.

"It is a 50-50 match. It will depend on small things," said the Osasuna forward who is set to earn his 99th cap, reports AP.

O.Ch.