Germany VS North Macedonia, hosts should have little trouble in getting the job done

Posted Wed, 31 Mar 2021 10:09:08 GMT        

Match Time:4/1/2021 02:45 Thursday  (GMT+8)

FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) --  Germany   VS   North Macedonia

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Germany will be looking to make it three wins from three in World Cup 2022 qualifying when they welcome North Macedonia to the MSV-Arena in Duisburg on Wednesday evening.

 

Joachim Low's men have seen off Iceland and Romania without conceding in their first two Group J games, while North Macedonia have three points from the same number of matches.

 

Match preview

Germany eased past Iceland in their opener, helped by goals from Leon Goretzka and Kai Havertz inside the first seven minutes, which Ilkay Gundogan added to before the hour.

 

Die Mannschaft were made to work a little harder by Romania on Sunday, even if they did dominate possession and the shot count in Bucharest.

 

A failure to put away chances almost cost Germany and in the end Serge Gnabry's 16th-minute strike proved the difference, with Romania wasting a couple of decent opportunities.

 

Two wins from two in 2021 is the best possible response to November's humiliating 6-0 loss to Spain - their only defeat in 15 matches since September 2019.

 

However, outgoing coach Low accepted on the back of the slender Romania win that his side cannot afford to be as profligate against stronger opposition.

 

That is not quite a category North Macedonia fit into, given that they are ranked 65th in the FIFA rankings, but Igor Angelovski's side could make life difficult for Germany.

 

The Red Lynxes thrashed Liechtenstein 5-0 on Sunday, with Aleksandar Trajkovski scoring two of his side's four second-half goals at the Tose Proeski Arena in Skopje.

 

That came on the back of a 3-2 loss to Romania in their opening qualifier - Ianis Hagi snatching all three points for the home side in Bucharest with an 85th-minute winner.

 

North Macedonia have lost only two of their last 11 games and finished just behind Armenia in last year's Nations League. Now the target will be to qualify for a major tournament.

 

The battle for second place in Group J should be tight, with Angelovski's charges three points behind Armenia in that playoff spot after two games.

 

Germany World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:WW

Germany form (all competitions):DWWLWW

North Macedonia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:LW

North Macedonia form (all competitions):DWWLLW

 

Team News

Low stuck with the same starting lineup between the wins over Iceland and Romania, but a change or two can be expected on Wednesday.

 

Timo Werner and Amin Younes are among those pushing for inclusion, having been used from the bench last time out, while Jamal Musiala could be handed a full debut.

 

Toni Kroos pulled out of the squad last week and will therefore play no part, while Niklas Sule is also nursing an injury.

 

As for the visitors, Trajkovski is one to watch after netting a brace last time out to make it 18 goals in 62 international appearances.

 

Genoa forward Goran Pandev may be getting on but is still an important part of the side, while Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski is another notable name.

 

Ilija Nestorovski will be hopeful of returning to the starting lineup after netting as a substitute against Liechtenstein.

 

Germany possible starting lineup:

Neuer; Klostermann, Ginter, Rudiger, Can; Musiala, Kimmich, Gundogan; Havertz, Werner, Sane

 

North Macedonia possible starting lineup:

Dimitrievski; Ristovski, Musliu, Ristevski, Alioski; Radeski, Spirovski, Bardhi, Elmas; Pandev, Trajkovski

 

Germany 3-0 North Macedonia

 

Germany VS North Macedonia, hosts should have little trouble in getting the job done