ULLEVAAL (VG) Aleksandar Mitrovic (28) has scored more goals than Erling Braut Haaland (22) since the start of last season.
Sports journalist Jovan Terzic believes it is crucial for Serbia to win the match and the Nations League group.
– He is our most important player, concludes Terzic, who works for Mozartsport.
Then Aleksandar Mitrovich scored a hat-trick Serbia beat Sweden 4-1 on Saturday. So many Serbian fans were pressured when the star was knocked out with an injury against Sweden, after being kicked in his Achilles tendon.
– I expect him to play in Oslo, said Serbian national team manager Dragan Stojkovic at the press conference in Belgrade.
It’s bad news for Norway in this case, says football expert Eric Ase, who closely followed Mitrovic’s career in the championship prior to Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League.
Last season, he scored 43 goals in 44 second-tier matches in England. It can be scary to meet a giant who is 189 centimeters tall and weighs more than 90 kilograms.
You can hardly find a worse opponent, not even in the Premier League. He has a tremendous physique, will and many tricks. Asi says he has the complete package.
During his career, the Serbian received 78 yellow and six red cards.
– He always plays with limits, is generally underdeveloped and gets enough cards. Asi thinks he should have gotten more red cards.
But in Mitrovic’s big body, there are a lot of ball skills. Terzic says that no one in the Serbian national team has a higher status than the striker.
– He is very modest and has no stellar inclinations. It is the biggest star. Terzic says everyone talks about him and writes about him.
He’s in the shape of his life, Martin Odegaard added at Monday’s press conference.
It is easy to draw similarities with other Norwegians. Erling Braut Haaland has 11 goals for Manchester City in the Premier League. The closest on the scorers list are Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Fulham’s Mitrovic, with six goals each.
Since the start of last season, the Serbian has already scored more goals for club and national team than the Norwegian, albeit in more matches than Haaland and at a lower level than the Manchester City striker.
The Serbia coach stands by himself with excitement for both of them.
They score goals from the dressing room if they wish, they are both very professional and have great personal qualities. I’m very happy to see both shows every weekend, but I’m also very happy with Alexander. “I couldn’t ask for more,” Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic said at Monday’s press conference.
In the Serbian attacking trio, he is likely to join Mitrovic Dusan Tadic (Ajax) and Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus). A frightening attack for most defences, but Norway centre-back Leo Skerry Ostegaard believes he’s met a “permissive version” of Vlahovic in Serie A.
There are people I played against in the past, so I know what I can do against them, says the Napoli player with confidence.
However, Juventus manager Massimo Allegri believes that Vlahovic’s level can be compared to Haaland’s.
– Among the young players, with less international experience, Valhović is among the top three, along with Haaland and Mbappe, he means.
– We managed to stop them the last time. Vlahovic was not there, but Mitrovic and Tadic were. We have to be perfect defensively, as Norway’s manager Stoll Solbakken said before the match.
Terzic expects an equal match at Ullevaal.
– After Saturday’s game, I think we have very good chances. But Norway also has good chances, and you have Haaland. Our defense must be at its best, otherwise Haaland will be punished, says the Serbian journalist.
Ase believes Norway’s defense wasn’t too good against Slovenia either, and that it might be just as difficult for them.
“I think they will have a real chance,” he said before the group final at Olival.
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”