Serbian eyebrows rose when Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrović missed the game against Manchester City. The primary concern for Serbia was whether he’d be available for the first game of the World Cup.
For Manchester United, their main worry was whether they would have to defend against the prolific striker.
And as per Sport Witness, the Fulham attacker will not be lining up to face Lisandro Martinez this Sunday.
One less headache for United
Fortunately for Serbia (and Manchester United), Mitrović is set to return to be fit for the World Cup opener but not Sunday’s game at Craven Cottage, according to Sportal in Serbia.
The caveat on the star striker’s return is that he will no longer play a role in the game against the Red Devils before his trip to Qatar.
After getting retribution against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup with a thrilling victory, Erik ten Hag will welcome the news.
After the harsh Villa lesson in the league, United will be pleased to learn that Marco Silva’s side will be without its star goalscorer.
Mitrović’s virtuoso performances are an asset to the Craven Cottage side. In just 12 appearances, he has nine goals to his name.
It is proof of his pedigree as a striker in the Premier League after a successful season in the Championship.
A sigh of relief for Serbia, a headache for Fulham
The Serbian’s performances this season mean his selection for the World Cup squad is little more than a formality.
However, his fitness levels for the opener against five-time World Cup champions Brazil is still concerning from a Serbian perspective.
Serbia, ideally, want him to participate in the opener and their next game against Cameroon.
The publication reports that Mitrović and Dusan Vlahovic will be in the squad facing the Seleção. Sportal puts any Serbian worries to rest, stating that “both injuries are in the process of being rehabilitated.”
The outlet confirms that the Fulham attacker ‘will certainly miss’ the game against the Red Devils. It is United’s last game before the World Cup in Qatar.
Taking a long-term view, the reason behind making Mitrović sit on the sidelines is ‘so as not to risk anything, both for Fulham and the national team.’