World Cup qualifiers: Serbia 6-1 Wales in 2012 'a turning point' - Ivanovic

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Vokes hoping to win 50th Wales cap in ‘huge match’
World Cup qualifier: Serbia v Wales
Date: Sunday, 11 June Venue: Stadion Rajko Mitic, Belgrade Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Serbia captain Branislav Ivanovic says their 6-1 win over Wales in 2012 will have no bearing Sunday night's World Cup qualifier in Belgrade.

Chris Coleman's are returning to Serbia for the first time since that defeat in Novi Sad.

Ivanovic believes the defeat helped Wales in the long term.

"After the last game here in Serbia you (Wales) have had a lot of success. And I think that was a turning point," said Ivanovic.

"There isn't any connection between the game then and the game now. This game will be completely different from the game that we played last time."

'No team has only one player' - Ivanovic on Bale's absence

Branislav Ivanovic and Gareth Bale collide in Cardiff in November, 2016
Branislav Ivanovic and Gareth Bale collide in Cardiff as Wales and Serbia drew 1-1 in November, 2016

Wales with be without Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale due to suspension.

But Ivanovic insists that Wales are not a one man team.

"Everyone knows how important Gareth is to the Wales team, but no team has only one player.

"Wales are a dangerous team who have played together for a long period.

"There are great players in the squad. Aaron Ramsey is in great form at the moment."

How they stand

Serbia are currently top of Group D, level on points with the Republic of Ireland and four points clear of Wales.

A Serbia win would put them seven points clear of Chris Coleman's team with four games remaining.

And Ivanovic knows Serbia could take a big step towards qualification if they secure the three points.

"We are in a good position and for us this is one of the most important games in the last couple of years.

"If we win there will be a big gap and it will give us great confidence.".

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