herald

Monday 24 April 2017

Win all that matters for Serbia: Matic

Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic

Irish and Welsh eyes will be focused on events in Dublin 4 on Friday night, but 5,000km away in Tbilisi, another key game in the World Cup campaign will be played out.

Serbia take on Georgia knowing that, depending on the outcome of the Ireland-Wales tie, it's the boys from Belgrade who could go top of the Group D table until the next round of games in June.

Slavoljub Muslin's side have something extra in their pack for this one as they have just this week been given clearance by FIFA to play Aleksandar Prijovic, a very promising Greek-based attacker who was born in Switzerland and had been capped by the Swiss at senior level but defected to the land of his parents, Serbia - clearly player defection is not just a cross-border issue in Ireland.

Chelsea star Nemanja Matic says his Serbian side are wary of the task ahead in Tbilisi, but insists they won't play for a draw.

"We never approach a game looking for a draw, winning should be the only aim, no matter who you play," said Matic ahead of that meeting with a Georgian side who have only two points from four games.

"We hope for a good performance but the result, and qualification for the World Cup finals, is the most important thing.

"Despite what the table says, our opponents are a strong side so we will have to work for the win."

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