Who? Serbia - Chile
Where? Merkur Arena, Graz
When? June 4, 21:00 (CET local time)
Towards the end of the 2015 – 2016 season, Wigan Athletic fans dedicated a song to their prolific striker Will Grigg. To the tunes of “Freed from Desire” by Italian artist Gala, “Will Grigg’s on Fire” became a worldwide sensation during Euro 2016 as Grigg mostly sat on the Northern Irish bench. Unbeknownst to most, this song was originally sung to Aleksandar Mitrovic by Newcastle United supporters, who still claim “Mitro’s on Fire” was stolen by the Wigan faithful, and have always seen the Serbian as a cult hero in St James Park.
Regardless of this debate, there is one thing that is very clear - Just like the song states, defenses should be terrified of the Serbian forward. After falling down the pecking order in Tyneside, Mitrovic was offered a lifeline by compatriot Slavisa Jokanovic who brought him in January to high flying Fulham from the Championship. It was a match made in heaven: Mitro scored 12 goals in 20 games and played a vital part for the Cottagers as they finished the season strong and qualified to the Premier League through the grueling playoffs.
The Serbians are delighted to be back in the front stage, as they qualified for their first big tournament since the 2010 World Cup. Mitrovic has played a huge part in making that happen as well: 6 goals in 6 straight games, which made him the top scorer in a tough qualifying group that included Wales, Austria and Ireland. Additionally, he scored twice in a friendly win vs Nigeria in March. With that in mind, it is very likely Mitrovic will lead Mladen Krstajic’s attack in the tournament
It will be incredibly interesting to see how the emotional and passionate Smederevo born striker will perform, and whether he can “ignite” the Serbian team to glory this summer.