- Date: Monday November 20 – 19.45 GMT
- Location: Toše Proeski Arena, Skopje, North Macedonia
- Teams: North Macedonia vs England
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England look to secure top spot in Group C
England travel to North Macedonia, hoping to sign off their qualifying campaign with a win after a laboured win over Malta on Friday. Their hosts are unable to qualify and went down 5-3 to Italy in Rome.
North Macedoni sit second second bottom, unable to qualify for Germany, having picked up seven points from their seven matches. Both of their victories so far in the group have come against bottom team Malta, while they also picked up a surprise point against Italy in September. They lost 5-2 to Italy in Rome on Friday evening. Jani Atanasov scored a brace off the bench against Italy and he is now expected to come into the side. Milan Ristovski and Stefan Ashkovski could also come in.
England have qualified for Euro 2024 and will look to seal top spot in Group C. The Three Lions are currently in one of their most consistent eras. England implemented a long-term coaching strategy back in 2013 and this has paid dividends with an exciting young team and plenty of promise in the age-group sides. Manager Gareth Southgate has consistently seen his sides reach the later stages of tournaments and has successfully blended experienced players with emerging talent.
England will want to sign off from qualfication in style. Their points haul should guarentee them a seeding for the finals in Germany. Many of England’s players looked a little jaded in the win over Malta. Southgate attempted to rest the likes of Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka, however, ended up bringing them off the bench. Hit by a number of withdrawals, including Jude Bellingham, Southgate will see this as an opportunity to look at some fringe players. Cole Palmer made his debut from the bench against Malta and it will be interesting to see if he gets more minutes on Monday.
Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier has withdrawn due to a personal matter. Marcus Rashworth came off against Malta after sustaining an injury in a collision with teammate Trent Alexamder Arnold. The Manchester United forward is unlikely to be fit for North Macedonia.
Rico Lewis could makehis debut at left-back due to the lack of options in that area of the field, while Saka, Kalvin Phillips, Kyle Walker, Rice and Jack Grealish could also come in to the starting line-up.
England are favourites and I believe that they will come away with at least a draw, despite many of their players looking a lottle haded after a busy period of domestic and European club football. I am backing them to get three points is this final qualifying match..
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