North Macedonia take on the visitors England in the round 10 match of group stage of UEFA Euro-2024 qualification. The match will be played on Monday, November 20th at National Arena Toshe Proeski (Skopje).
North Macedonia initially made their mark by debuting in the Euros, and in the final round of World Cup qualifiers, they narrowly missed the opportunity to play in the tournament against Portugal, having secured the 2nd spot in the group by defeating Germany along the way and winning a playoff against Italy. Although they had a favorable path to the Euros through the Nations League, where UEFA opened the door for underdogs, they failed to impress, losing all three matches. Nonetheless, people started taking them more seriously, no longer viewing them as mere outsiders. However, in 2023, North Macedonia only managed to defeat the main underdog, Malta. They faced defeat against England without a chance, and despite having opportunities against Ukraine at home, they turned a 0-2 lead in Skopje into a 3-2 victory for Ukraine in the second half. They also managed to hold Italy to a draw in Spalletti's first match but ended up losing 2-5 in Rome in November.
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England continues to impress both in terms of play and results. Gareth Southgate, initially an interim coach, managed to lead the "Three Lions" to possibly their strongest period in history, reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and narrowly losing to Italy in the penalty shootout of the Euros. However, the previous year was disappointing, with a poor performance in the Nations League (finishing 4th in their group), and a Quarterfinal exit at the World Cup in Qatar, falling short of high expectations. Nevertheless, the coaching staff still enjoys trust, justified by victories against major opponents in March, defeating Italy away and Ukraine at home. Ukraine, under new management with Rebrov, managed to secure a draw, but it was the only point dropped by the British, who qualified for the Euros in October. Now, with the usual squad assembled, accounting for injuries, they comfortably defeated Malta 2-0.
In the early 2000s, the teams met in qualifying matches between 2002 and 2006. Macedonia secured a couple of draws in four encounters during that period. It's unlikely that the "Three Lions" will go all out to crush their opponent. Consider looking at the option of "total under 3.5 goals."
Prediction for the match: Under 3.5 scored goals.