- National Arena Bucharest
- North Macedonia have scored 14 goals in five games in 2021
- Both teams scored in both clashes between these two in Euro 2020 qualifying
North Macedonia can cause problems
North Macedonia make history as they kick-off their first ever major tournament match on Sunday. They qualified by winning the play-offs in group D of the UEFA Nations League, earning them a place at this summer’s tournament.
They come in as the big underdogs, but this is a landmark moment for North Macedonia. It comes on the back of another major moment for them – a 2-1 victory at Germany in World Cup qualifying earlier this year. That result proved that Igor Angelovski’s side can cause problems for anyone.
We’re backing North Macedonia to make Austria worry in this clash. While the Austrians took six points off these opponents in qualifying for this tournament, things have changed for the pair in the build up to this one and we expect an even clash.
Outsiders won’t park the bus
North Macedonia’s rise isn’t due to stodgy, uninspiring football. Angelovski makes his men push forward, suggesting that the most important thing for him is that his team push forward and entertain. Having scored 14 goals in five matches in 2021, it’s clearly paying off.
These two met in qualifying for this tournament, with Austria picking up two vital wins on their way to booking their place. However, both teams scored in each of those encounters. North Macedonia scored in eight of their final nine qualifying games, while nine of their last 13 matches have seen both teams score.
We’re backing BTTS when these two meet in Romania, with Austria expected to take the initiative in what is seen as their most winnable group game. North Macedonia won’t sit back and with eight goals shared between the two in the last two meetings both teams to score is well priced.
Eyes on Elmas
Napoli’s Eljif Elmas is a player who could catch the eye this summer and the technically gifted midfielder comes into the tournament in form. He’s scored three goals in his last four for the national side. That includes a strike against Germany in World Cup qualifying and he’s now central to everything they do.
Elmas will get space playing just behind the front two and we think he’s great value to score any time given his good scoring form.
Struggling Austria are vulnerable
North Macedonia have won three of their last four matches (D1) and that form makes them a threat in this game. They’ve lost only two of their last 14 matches and that makes Austria worth opposing here.
Austria have won once in their last six matches and they come into this one winless in their last three. They’ve failed to win their last six games at the Euros and as a result we’re backing a 1-1 draw as our correct score prediction.
Austria predicted lineup
North Macedonia predicted lineup
- Austria have failed to win five of their last six fixtures
- North Macedonia have scored the first goal in each of their last four matches
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