Serbia’s 3 danger men against the Republic of Ireland
Saints midfielder makes Eagles tick
Serbia take on the Republic of Ireland in Dublin this evening with their World Cup fate in their own hands.
Should they collect all three points, and Wales fail to win in Moldova, Slavoljub Muslin’s team will be guaranteed a top-two spot in Group D.
With four wins and three draws from their seven games so far, the Serbians are currently in pole position.
Muslin favours an aggressive, attacking 3-4-3 formation and will be dependent on his forward line to do the damage. The Coral News team analyse their three most potent weapons.
As mentioned previously, Serbia employ an expansive style. They have scored 16 goals in qualifying so far, six more than anyone else in the group.
Southampton’s wide forward Dusan Tadic has bagged four of them and assisted seven. The 28-year-old is central to practically everything the team do in attack.
Generally drifting off the right wing, the Saints ace likes to cut inside and link with the central forward or shoot from the edge of the box.
Newcastle United’s Aleksandar Mitrovic is on a serious scoring streak for his country.
The 22-year-old has now scored eight goals in his last eight internationals. And the striker will be looking to make it nine in nine in Dublin this evening.
The Republic’s defence has been quite miserly so far, conceding just five goals. But the former Anderlecht youngster will look to exploit any chinks in their armour.
Central defenders Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark are not the quickest so any balls in behind them will be preyed upon by ‘Mitro’.
Due to their ultra-offensive game plan, The Eagles leave gaps at the back. Their midfield lynchpin Nemanja Matic will have to be at his imperious best to stop any Irish counter-attacks.
While the Manchester United man’s anchoring qualities are obvious, it is in attack where he can flourish.
Muslin will likely instruct his team to press Martin O’Neill’s side high up the field, pushing them back into their own box.
Matic has a fearsome strike from range so if he can latch onto any balls cleared from the Irish defence, Darren Randolph – the Republic’s goalkeeper – could be in trouble.
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