Not only do we have a Serbian Under-21 international in Milos Veljkovic, but Mauricio has called upon the knowledge of current Montenegro manager, former Partizan player and his former team-mate of six years at Espanyol, Branko Brnovic.
“I know Branko well and we have much information on Partizan, a big club with a great history,” said Mauricio.
“We all know that they are a very good team who play with a good philosophy and we expect a tough game.
“They are top of the Serbian league and they have a lot of talent, lots of good players.”
Partizan have won their first five matches of the Serbia SuperLiga and currently top the table from city rivals Crvena Zvezda (formerly Red Star) by two points.
They are unbeaten in 11 games in all competitions having started their European campaign in the third qualifying round of the Champions League back in July. They were unlucky to go out to Ludogorets - who pushed Liverpool all the way this week - after drawing both matches.
Having said all that, we’ve won four and drawn one of our six matches so far this term and Mauricio has one target - victory.
“The first game is always important, important to try and get the three points, a good performance and to feel good on the pitch,” he added.
“It may be a different team to the last game against Sunderland but we have a strong squad, everyone is ready to play and we want to show our quality.”
- the lads will wear our yellow third kit in Belgrade tonight - buy your third kit here!