Soccer-Bosnia's Pjanic doubtful for World Cup qualifier

SARAJEVO Mon Oct 1, 2012 1:52pm BST

SARAJEVO Oct 1 (Reuters) - Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic could miss the soccer World Cup qualifier away to Greece on Oct. 12 because of a groin injury, coach Safet Susic said on Monday.

Susic included uncapped central defender Ervin Zukanovic in his 22-man squad as Bosnia, who also face Lithuania on Oct. 16, set out to preserve their 100 percent Group G record after emphatic wins over Lichtenstein and Latvia.

Asked if Roma playmaker Pjanic would be fit to face Greece in Piraeus, Susic said: "We'll see. I need Miralem for the match against Lithuania, which we must win.

"I don't think I will risk using him in the first match only to lose him for the second, more important, game against the Lithuanians.

"We will still try to get a good result in Greece. I can't promise a win but we will have a go at them from the off because it's the only way we can play with strikers like Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic in our ranks.

"We are not the kind of team able to play a waiting game and base our strategy on fast breaks," the 57-year old coach, who scored 21 goals in 54 appearances for the former Yugoslavia, told a news conference.

Susic warned Hoffenheim midfielder Sejad Salihovic that he must control his temper in order to keep his place in the starting 11 after he was sent off twice this season in matches for his Bundesliga club.

"I'll talk to him because we all know the Greeks can be aggressive and it would be a disaster if someone was to get a red card because of that."

Other than Pjanic's likely absence, no other changes are expected to the team that mauled Lichtenstein 8-1 and came from behind to beat the Latvians 4-1.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Ibrahim Sehic (Mersin), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banjaluka).

Defenders: Ervin Zukanovic (Kortrijk), Emir Spahic (Sevilla), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Lugansk), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg), Ognjen Vranjes (Krasnodar).

Midfielders: Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Senad Lulic (Roma), Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Dynamo Moscow), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Adnan Zahirovic (Spartak Nalchik), Ivan Sesar (Sarajevo), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Senijad Ibricic (Gaziantepspor), Muamer Svraka (Zeljeznicar Sarajevo)

Forwards: Vedad Ibisevic (Vfb Stuttgart), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Avdija Vrsajevic (Hajduk Split), Miroslav Stevanovic (Vojvodina Novi Sad). (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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