We may be in the midst of the dreaded international break, however tonight serves up a World Cup battle between two Newcastle stars, with Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic set to face up against Ireland’s Ciaran Clark in a crunch clash at the top of Group D.
The pair are both expected to start, meaning Mitrovic will be going toe to toe with NUFC compatriot Clark; who will be more than likely marking the in-form Serbian, who is Group D’s top scorer with six goals.
As the standings below suggest, it is a crunch game at the top for both countries and Newcastle men, with a win for either set to all but guarantee their place at next year’s World Cup in Russia:
Interestingly, here’s what Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill had to say about opposition striker Aleksandar Mitrovic:
“I think he’s a very talented player. When you say he divides opinion, that certainly might be to do with some of things he does on the pitch, maybe off ball.”
“But at the end of the day, he’s a talented player and that talent would be my concern more than anything else.”
“I think he’s proved himself a really good player, but he has his moments of indiscretion. But if you’re asking is it something we are going to do, to wind people up, I don’t think that’s in our nature.”
“We’ll just get on with the job and Ciaran, who knows him inside-out, hopefully, will be able to deal with that.”
Kick off is at 7.45pm, with the game set to be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event.
It promises to be an interesting watch and battle between two NUFC men, with both sides hopes of World Cup qualification on the line as well as our very own Aleksandar Mitrovic going toe to toe with fellow NUFC defender Ciaran Clark.