Serbia-Montenegro in disarray ahead of crucial match against Argentina

The jumble of problems facing Serbia's preparations includes a knee ligament injury to central defender Nemanja Vidic which ousted him from the tournament. The team is also in a bad mood after its opening loss, and players have clashed with coach Ilija Petkovic over tactics.

The best way to overcome the troubles is to beat Argentina in Gelsenkirchen on Friday, players say.

A victory by two-time champion Argentina, which beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in its World Cup opener, and a win by the Netherlands over the Ivorians the same day would guarantee the winners of advancing to the second round. It would also oust the Serbs and Ivorians and make their last match in the group a mere formality, the AP reports.

Faced with sharp criticism of the "cowardly" game plan against the Dutch, Petkovic is expected to start with an offensive lineup against Argentina that will include 2.02-meter (6-foot-6) forward Nikola Zigic and Stuttgart striker Danijel Ljuboja.