09 October 2020
North Macedonia (FIFA ranking: #66) and Kosovo (#116) will lock horns at the National Arena Toshe Proeski, as the two nations look to move a step closer to making their first-ever appearance at a European Championship.
The hosts have overseen an upturn in home form lately, going from back-to-back losses to three consecutive victories, all of which came via a single-goal margin. Bagging the opening goal will put first goal-scorers in a perfect position to pick up a win, considering seven of North Macedonia’s last eight home results (wins/losses) over the past two years have seen the winner on the day score the opener (W6, L2). However, the ‘Red Lynxes’ have broken the deadlock in just two of their last five competitive fixtures (W2, D1, L2) despite getting on the scoresheet in the first half in the previous three. A high-scoring affair is well on the cards, though, as three of North Macedonia’s last four home matches have seen over 2.5 goals and both teams on the scoresheet (W3, L1).
Meanwhile, the visitors take this trip on a run of five games without a win (D1, L4), four of which ended separating the sides by under 1.5 goals at full-time. Away from home, the ‘Dardanians’ have failed to keep a clean sheet in five consecutive matches, conceding over 1.5 goals in three. Notably, though, quick out of the blocks, Bernard Challandes’ men have scored the opening goal (if any) in seven of their previous ten road trips, eventually losing two such fixtures (W3, D4, L3). Additionally, they have avoided defeat in 11 of 12 matches in which they found the back of the net before half-time (W8, D3, L1). But, Kosovo are not handing the pressure well, having lost all five of their last matches in which they were betting outsiders.
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