Partizan is away to Crvena Zvezda on Sunday (6pm CET kick-off) for a Linglong Tire Serbian Super liga round 24 fixture. This is 166th edition of Eternal Belgrade derby.
H2H (last six)
Partizan 1, Crvena Zvezda 2, Drawn 3. Gd: 5-5.
Danilo Pantic (hamstring) is out for the remainder of the season.
Partizan boss Aleksandar Stanojevic and midfielder Sasa Zdjelar addressed journalists at the pre-derby press-conference. Boss Aleksandar Stanojevic didn`t reveal if Aleksandar Miljkovic (injury) or Ljubomir Fejsa (lack of match-fitness) are back in contention.
-I`m proud of my players, the club and what we achieved so far. I don`t know how many people believed that we will be fighting for the title ahead of one of the crucial derbies of the season. I`m can only be pleased ahead of one good and exciting derby game, the one that can make a lot of difference.
We are pleased as it`s up to us now. Being five or two points ahead of the bitter rivals is the same for us. It`s not the same if you lose the derby game but points-wise it is. Five points advantage is nothing really, but seven or eight are. It would mean a lot to us if we win tomorrow and get a step closer to the title but five-point margin is not enough and we will not be looking to draw although our previous meetings with bitter rivals were close encounters.
Regarding tactics, we have certain plans. I love the way we look on the field but I`m going to make certain surprises too. Derby is a unique game and fatigue is not an excuse after Thursday`s European match. We expect home side to charge forward but you expect our attacks too. We also expect them to start in a diamond formation or with two forwards, not with three at the back. Pavkov might be their wildcard player off the bench but we have no special treatment for any their players. We will analyze them individually and we will point out at certain things but our play will be zonal.
-Another derby and another chance for everyone to prove themselves. Our team looks good, we won four games in a row after the winter break, two of them in Europe. We are confident and eagerly awaiting this derby game.
I don`t know if a draw is good result for us, we`ll see after the game tomorrow. Championship doesn`t finish with tomorrow`s match anyway. Lots of games still to play and I don`t think both sides will win all their remaining matches. Tomorrow`s derby can give you a lot but not everything.
PHOTO GALLERY: MIROSLAV TODOROVIC
PHOTO GALLERY: SANDIC PHOTOGRAPHY