Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

Sweden SWE 1

South Korea KOR 0

REPORT

Belgium BEL 3

Panama PAN 0

REPORT

Tunisia TUN 1

England ENG 2

REPORT

Colombia COL 1

Japan JPN 2

REPORT

Poland POL 1

Senegal SEN 2

REPORT

Russia RUS 3

Egypt EGY 1

REPORT

Portugal POR

Morocco MAR

Uruguay URY

Saudi Arabia SAU

Iran IRN

Spain ESP

Denmark DNK

Australia AUS

France FRA

Peru PER

Argentina ARG

Croatia CRO

Brazil BRA

Costa Rica CRI

Nigeria NGA

Iceland ISL

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Home Sport Football

Serbia in focus ahead of their clash with the Republic of Ireland

Martin O'Neill will send his Republic of Ireland side into battle with Serbia on Tuesday night knowing defeat could blow a major hole in their bid to qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia next summer.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the Group D leaders and the threat they pose to Ireland's hopes.

FORM

Serbia's recent results have been impressive with only Ireland and Wales having denied them victory during the World Cup qualifying campaign to date, O'Neill's team in Belgrade in the opening round of fixtures and the Welsh both home and away. However, they have had to show resilience to ease themselves clear at the top of the group with Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring late equalisers in both games against Chris Coleman's side. Mitrovic was also on target as Serbia came from behind to win 3-1 in Georgia in March.

COACH

Slavoljub Muslin is a much-travelled coach for whom qualification for the World Cup finals would extend his reign. A much-decorated former Red Star Belgrade defender, he ended his playing days in France, where he launched his coaching career working with the likes of David Ginola and Zinedine Zidane. Now 64, he has guided Serbia to the top of Group D with an unbeaten run of four wins and three draws.

TACTICS

Muslin has favoured a three-man defence with wing-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Mijat Gacinovic providing the width. Nemanja Matic and Nemanja Gudelj are generally asked to sit in front of the back four with Mitrovic heading a front three along with Dusan Tadic and Filip Kostic.

PLAYERS

The Serbia squad is littered with familiar names, with Zenit St Petersburg's former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic wearing the captain's armband, Roma's former Manchester City man Kolarov adding his pace and power down the left and Manchester United new boy Matic controlling things in the middle of the park. Ten of their 16 goals in the campaign to date have been scored by Mitrovic and Tadic, with the Newcastle man leading the way on six, two ahead of his Southampton counterpart, whose haul of four includes two penalties.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph