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Mitrović ready to risk injury for World Cup, Serbia manager says

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By Martin Graham | 16th Nov 2022

Serbia national team manager Dragan Stojkovic has revealed Aleksandr Mitrović’s determination to travel with the team to Qatar despite battling a groin injury.

The Fulham striker suffered an injury in late October and has been in a race against time to be fit for the which will be held in Qatar. It has also been recorded that he had been playing with a foot injury since the September international break.

However, Stojkovic is certain that his star striker will be fit enough for the tournament where they will take on Brazil, Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G an especially tough group.

“Mitrovic will go to the World Cup without a leg. We can even shorten his head,” the Serbia manager joked. “We still have time to change some things, but I highly doubt there will be any.

“Mitrovic can go to Qatar with one foot, why not? To be unique with a player who plays with one leg, like no one else in the world.”

Mitrović has carried over his fine form from the Championship to the Premier League this season, netting nine goals in 12 appearances. This is a pleasant surprise for fans, who watched him perform brilliantly in the championship and struggle to make things happen in the Premier League in Fulham’s last stint.

His injuries prevented him from lining up against Manchester United last weekend and it was a huge miss as the Red Devils beat the Cottagers at their home, thanks to a dying minute Alejandro Garnacho goal.

Fulham manager Marco Silva, has termed the defeat as cruel. This outcome is not reflective of the performance that Fulham put into the game.

“It’s really tough,” he began. “A cruel game for us. Unfortunately the second in a row against two Manchester sides, even if the last game was slightly different. The way we played, the way we performed, we deserved more form the game.

“We have to learn from the moments because we can never lose the focus against these types of sides. We lost it in some moments, they can punish you. United came here and they play almost all the moments in counter-attack trying to explore.

“It’s tough to take because I think we did OK first half and the second half was really good for ourselves. We were probably the team closer to doing something more and then came the late goal which punished us.

“This is the Premier League and if you lose focus then in one second they can punish you. This is the reality and you have to learn.”

Serbia will miss the 28-year-old if he fails to recover on time but they will also be going with Dusan Vlahovic, who is enjoying a good run in Juventus at the moment. Vlahovic has also hit the ground running for his national team and will be hungry to make a statement in front of the whole world.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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