Soccer UEFA Euro Qualification - Group Stage
England vs North Macedonia - Match Preview
⚽ 19 June 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Labelled as one of the tougher groups compiled in the race for UEFA Euro 2024 qualification, England have thus far made light work of Group C after their 4-0 demolition of Malta last time out continuing their perfect start after three matches. Making it four from four will make it extremely tough for anyone to deny them a top spot at the halfway point of qualifying, and given they’ve topped the group in their last three European Championship qualifying campaigns, it’s hard to see England relinquishing their grip.
The Three Lions have been the ultimate apex predator in qualifying for major tournaments under Gareth Southgate, who’s remarkably seen his side lose only one of their 30 (W25, D4) qualification matches since taking charge. That should mean confidence is at an all-time high as they make their way to Old Trafford to face North Macedonia, although winning only one of their last four home matches (D2, L1) shows there’s still no room for complacency.
That’s especially true when facing a wounded North Macedonia side who let slip a 2-0 half-time lead to lose 3-2 against Ukraine in their last game. That blew Group C wide open in the chase for the top-two spots, as instead of pulling away, North Macedonia are now joined by Ukraine and Italy on three points each prior to the next round of matches.
The Lynxes showed they’re capable of battling with Europe’s best, after shocking not only the continent but the world when qualifying for the delayed Euro 2020. The perennial underdogs won’t shy away from the task at hand either, especially considering they’ve avoided defeat in two of their four matches against England (D2), while they were far from disgraced in the two defeats, losing by just a slender one-goal margin.
📋 Players to watch: England’s all-time top scorer Harry Kane has scored a goal in his last five games for his country, with four of those coming in the first half. Meanwhile, North Macedonia’s Enis Bardhi scored the match opener against Ukraine, the fourth time he’s done so in his last five international goalscoring outings.
⚡ Hot stat: England has seen over 2.5 goals scored in 11 of their last 12 Euro qualifying matches.
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