Iceland vs North Macedonia Preview 05/09/2021
Iceland host North Macedonia in UEFA World Cup qualifying on Sunday in Reykjavik. The teams are fighting for the top two places in Group J, which is wide open after four matchdays.
Group J is topped by Armenia who go into the game on Sunday with 10 points from 12 possible. North Macedonia are just three points back of Armenia going into the weekend. Iceland are fifth in Group J after four games and are six points back of the World Cup qualifying playoff place.
— Knattspyrnusambandið (@footballiceland) September 3, 2021
Iceland desperately need to win to improve their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup playoff places. The Icelanders are coming off of a midweek qualifying loss to Romania 2-0. Their only win in qualifying has come against Liechtenstein, 4-1.
North Macedonia played at the Euro 2020 tournament. Although they were eliminated at the group stage, North Macedonia put in a strong showing. World Cup qualifying has gone well for Blagoja Milevski’s team.
The North Macedonians lost to Romania to kick off World Cup qualifying before defeating Liechtenstein and Germany. In midweek, North Macedonia drew nil-nil with Armenia in qualifying. Germany moved into second place during midweek with North Macedonia falling to third.
Iceland and North Macedonia have played four times previously. North Macedonia have posted a record of 2W-1D-1L over the course of those four meetings.
North Macedonia are on four-match winless streak in all competitions. They were outscored 8-2 over the course of those four matches. North Macedonia have played well and should be a strong opponent for Iceland.
Iceland have struggled in 2021 posting a record of 2W-1D-4L. Their last two games finished without a victory as Iceland drew 2-2 with Poland and lost 2-0 Romania.
Despite losing to Romania in midweek, Iceland registered 55% possession and 13 shots. The defence conceded 19 shots to Romania, however.
North Macedonia posted 13 shots, but just one of those shots hit the target against Armenia. Milevski’s team did post 68% possession in the nil-nil draw. Two of Iceland’s last three games ended with under 2.5 goals scored, while the North Macedonians are coming off of a nil-nil draw.
Iceland had a good showing against Romania, but came up short. This time around, Iceland should play better in all phases to get a draw. Iceland have scored just four times in World Cup qualifying.
Sunday’s game should be low scoring with Iceland and North Macedonia drawing at the end of full-time. The game should finish with under 2.5 goals scored.