Aleksandar Mitrovic and Serbia had the perfect World Cup send off.

They face Costa Rice in eight days time in their first group match and approach it full of confidence.

It only took Mitro and Serbia two minutes to open the scoring against Bolivia in their final friendly, a header from a corner set-piece.

On 19 minutes it was Ljajic who made it 2-0 and four minutes later it was 3-0 and the second for the Newcastle striker, a right foot shot from inside the box.

Only a few minutes before the break it was Aleksandar Mitrovic the provider, setting up Ivanovic to make it four.

Bolivia got a consolation just after the break but on 68 minutes Mitrovic scored the goal of the match, a right foot effort from outside the box.

The Newcastle forward was subbed straight afterwards and is clearly in rude health as he looks forward to the World Cup campaign kicking off.

The Mag – 8 June 2018:

The Coaches Voice:


Star performers

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Forward, 23, Newcastle United

‘Serbia’s main goal threat, Mitrovic scored six times in qualifying to become the top marksman in Group D.

‘The Newcastle striker, who played a huge role in Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League this season, is capable of scoring all sorts of goals but also an excellent focal point for Serbia’s attacks.

‘He is one of only three players in the World Cup squad – alongside Dusan Tadic and veteran defender Branislav Ivanovic – to have more than 10 goals for Serbia.

‘An imposing figure, Mitrovic began his club career at Teleoptik in his native Serbia. Subsequent stints at Partizan and Anderlecht saw him impress enough to earn a move to the Premier League with Newcastle United.

‘He has spent three seasons at Newcastle, but was loaned out to Fulham – with superb success – for the second half of the most recent season.

‘We can expect to see Aleksandar Mitrovic, still only 23, play a key role for his country in Russia.

The target man for the majority of Serbia’s play, he is good at winning the first ball and bringing others into play – he has a good relationship with fellow attackers Tadic and Kostic, from whose deliveries he can be a major aerial threat.’

Tactical set-up:

‘During qualifying, Serbia set up in a 3-4-3 formation and largely played direct into Aleksandar Mitrovic as the focal point.

‘Since Krstajic has taken charge, however, they have switched to a 4-2-3-1 (sometimes 4-3-3) formation and looked to play through the thirds more regularly. This may well be what we see from Serbia in Russia, although don’t be too surprised if they revert to direct play when they face Brazil in their final group game.

‘What hasn’t changed under the new coach is the use and threat of Mitrovic. He still holds play up really well, albeit now slightly more with his feet than his head, and can still be lethal inside the box.’

To watch Aleksandar Mitrovic and Serbia at the World Cup, these are dates and kick-off times.

They are in World Cup Group E:

Serbia v Costa Rica – 17 June 1pm

Serbia v Switzerland – 22 June 7pm

Serbia v Brazil – 27 June. 7pm

  • Clarko

    And we’ve had to watch Joselu all season…

    • Oval85

      It’s the only thing you are right about, fatso-muppet.

    • TheNutJob

      you did, i closed me eyes when he got the ball

      • Oval85

        You saved yourself for alot of agony then… He did run his socks off though, almost literally ^^

  • Paul Patterson

    That’s £25m and rising..

    • Oval85

      You make that sound like a good thing… You actually make it sound like it will be reinvested.

      • Paul Patterson

        Personally, I think I wrote- ‘That’s £25m and rising’. End of, nothing more, nothing less.

        • Oval85

          My comment stands…

          • Paul Patterson

            For what? His price is rising. Investment or no investment. I implied nothing.

          • Oval85

            No investment.

          • Paul Patterson

            You make that sound like there will be no investment.

          • Oval85

            It won’t.

          • Paul Patterson

            You mean ‘There’ won’t.

          • Oval85

            Sorry, not my mother language.

          • Paul Patterson

            Where you from?Please don’t say S********d..

          • Oval85

            Hehe, Norway.

          • Damon Horner

            Have you ever seen a mackem in Norway?

          • Oval85

            Nope, but they are usually supporting Liverpool or ManU.
            I was 8 years old and fell in love with the kit, **** did I pick wrong ^^

          • Paul Patterson

            No, stick with this mad house of a club. It’s madness, but it’s what we do. 😂

          • Oval85

            No use in changing side now… I’m 33 ffs ^^
            Even got my 4 year old daughter a northern rock kit, tried to find one with Brown Ale, but no luck.

          • Paul Patterson

            Same age bracket as me then. Soon to be 35.

          • Paul Patterson

            Nor way. I’ll get my coat .

        • TheNutJob


  • JonMag

    making right mugs of his detractors, isn`t he

    • Mike Adam

      He certainly is Jon!!!

  • Lostprofit DBC

    We should give him another chance with a run of games. £15m is peanuts these days. Had we been trying to buy him, that would have added £5m. He will be attracting the attention of more than Fulham, believe me.

    • Paul Patterson

      He won’t go for £15m, try £10m more ..

      • Oval85

        What if Serbia wins the WC ^^

        • Paul Patterson

          I’m having that as an outside bet at 200-1. With him scoring goals, it’ll be £40m+.

  • Aussie Bill

    Can you imagine KK or Sir Bob having Mitro or Arma out on loan? Raffa may have some runs on the board and a great defence but he can be petty. It is a shame he can’t add the traditional Newcastle No 9 into his plans so attack can compliment defence.

  • Andynufc

    Big supporter of Rafa but I feel hes been wrong in totally dismissing Mitro. You can see he can score goals and has the potential to be a real number 9 striker. Goals, something nufc badly struggled for from their strikers last season. Not sure what the reasons were for not playing him. Bad discipline, not fitting Rafa’s system? I can’t however accept Joselu was the better option.

  • Mike Adam

    The Mitro haters can blow all of the hot air they want, but the strike for his third goal was pure class!!!