Here's what Ireland can expect from Serbia tonight

Here's what Ireland can expect from Serbia tonight

TONIGHT IS the night.

Wednesday night will see Ireland face off against Serbia in the opening game of our World Cup qualifying campaign, and though the game is not necessarily a must-win, it would be great to get off to a winning start.

But the opposition will not go down without a fight, and Ireland will go into the game as underdogs.

Here's what to expect from Serbia tonight.

Dragan Stojkovic is taking charge of his first games as Serbia manager, after Ljubisa Tumbakovic was sacked for failing to qualify for Euro 2020.

Clip via Sky Sports Football

Stojkovic's side will aim to attack, he has confirmed, while Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has also maintained that we will not sit in two deep blocks and aim for the channels, so we might just have a ball game on our hands.

Serbia are 30th in the FIFA World Rankings, compared to Ireland who come in at 42nd, but the gulf in quality is probably a little bit greater than the rankings show.

While we have a number of Championship and League One players in our squad, Serbia have the luxury of leaving out well-known Premier League players.

Manchester United veteran Nemanja Matic recently retired from international football, while free-kick expert Aleksandar Kolarov, now at Inter Milan, and Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic also miss out.

Sergej Milinković-Savić and Dusan Tadic are players to watch out for tonight, with the two creative powerhouses well able to make something happen out of nothing, while also being well able to control a game.

Meanwhile, Luka Jovic is a clinical finisher up front, while Premier League fans will be well used to the power and shithousery of Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrović, who is admittedly out of form at the minute.

One thing that may work in Ireland's favour, however, is that Serbia will face Portugal just four days from now, and may have one eye on what they see as a potentially bigger clash.

Regardless, Ireland are in for a tough game tonight, and may be pleased to come home from Serbia with a point on the board.

Ireland vs Serbia kicks off at 7.45pm on Wednesday night.