Gibraltar v Georgia
For Gibraltar, a campaign in League C is one of the best achievements in the country’s footballing history but the league has ultimately ended in relegation for them this season. Gibraltar have lost all of their away matches to a 4-goal deficit and are certainly stronger at home. At home Gibraltar got their only point of the season, a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria but also lost to Montenegro 2-0.
Gibraltar will be up against already promoted Georgia, who are on their longest ever unbeaten run of 10 matches with 8 of these being wins. Georgia have already topped the group and secured promotion to group B and star players such as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are helping Georgia become a force to be reckoned with. Georgia have scored 14 and conceded just 2 in this campaign so far and this quality to break teams down and score goals will be vital against Gibraltar who will sit back and try and make it as difficult as possible to create opportunities. Georgia have beaten Gibraltar by at least 3 goals in 4 of the last 5 matches they have played against each other.
Georgia are the best team in the league and Gibraltar are by far the worst, Georgia won the reverse fixture 4-0 and they should be more than good enough to win by 2 goals in this one.
Germany v England
England’s struggles to score are well documented and they have now only scored 1 goal in their last 5 matches and that was a penalty against Germany. While England have generally been tight in defence, this lack of goals is a real worry for England fans and is seeing Southgate come under increased pressure. England’s Nations League matches have been very low scoring, only one match has had over 2.5 goals, their 4-0 loss to Hungary. England’s last result saw them guaranteed relegation, so they will have little motivation to push for goals in this match.
Germany have also been involved in very low scoring matches. Only 1 of Germany’s 5 matches has seen over 2.5 goals, their 5-2 win over Italy. This system has been very successful for them though, while England may choose to mix things up due to bad form, Germany’s loss to Hungary was their first loss since Flick took over as manager after 13 matches unbeaten. Germany will play a similar style to how they have played this whole Nations League as it has been effective, so they are also unlikely to push for any goals considering they can’t top the group.
Both teams have been involved in very low scoring matches and I see this going the same way, so I am backing under 2.5 goals.
Iceland v Albania
Iceland and Albania both know they will be staying in League B next season. Israel have already secured qualification and Russia are automatically relegated so these teams will finish second and third. Albania and Iceland have both played Israel twice and in all 4 matches both teams scored and even in their match against each other both teams scored. They are yet to play a match in this Nations League where both teams do not score.
The biggest name in Albania’s squad right now may be Armando Broja. The Chelsea striker only has one goal so far this campaign and has been left out of the Chelsea team recently, he will want to prove his worth before rejoining them at the end of this international break. Iceland on the other hand are still a team that rely on squad spirit and pulling together, yet without any big names they continue to be successful.
This match is a dead rubber but as two teams that play matches with goals involved are facing off, it feels like one of those matches that could see an absolute flurry of goals. Either way this match has all the attributes to be highly entertaining, therefore I am backing both teams to score in this one.
Norway v Serbia
There are very few strikers in the world that could say they are in form as good as either Erling Haaland or Aleksander Mitrovic. They are the Premier League’s top 2 goal scorers and, after the last round of fixtures, the Nations League’s top 2 goal scorers. Haaland scored yet again for Norway in their loss to Slovenia, while Mitrovic scored a hat-trick against Sweden. Both teams have been high scoring recently, 3 of Norway’s last 4 matches have seen over 2.5 goals and the same is true for Serbia. The only low scoring matches have come when playing against teams that have tried to make it hard for them to break down, whereas against each other this is unlikely to be a problem. While the last match between the two ended 1-0, there was about 2.5 xG in the match and Serbia really should have scored at least once so I expect more goals in it this time.
This game will decide which of the teams is promoted, Norway need a draw or win to guarantee promotion while a Serbia win means they would top the League. This will see both teams push for goals, whatever the match situation, one team will need a goal for promotion. I feel over 2.5 goals is a very good price at over evens in a game that could be very open.
Kosovo v Cyprus
Kosovo have somehow found themselves dragged into a relegation battle. After they lost to a 93rd minute goal against Northern Ireland in their last match and Cyprus beat heavy favourites Greece, a loss here will see them relegated if Northern Ireland can take a point off Greece. Kosovo return home in this match though, where they are certainly stronger, knowing a win will still see them finish second in this group.
Cyprus’s shock win against Greece kept their faint hopes of survival alive, however, Northern Ireland also winning means Cyprus are still stuck at the bottom of the group. Cyprus did finish bottom of League C last time out and only a win against Estonia in a relegation play off meant they stayed in League C for another season. Cyprus have a poor away record, they haven’t won a competitive away match in their last 12 matches and only picked up draws in 3 of these matches. A win in this game, away from home, will be a real tough ask for them.
The reverse fixture between the teams ended 2-0 to Kosovo and Kosovo were by far the better team, they had 7 shots on target while Cyprus couldn’t even manage 1. Now at home Kosovo will be able to dominate again in this match and will be desperate to prove they are good enough to stay in this league. Kosovo should be easily good enough to win this match and Cyprus’ shocking away record means even their own fans won’t have much hope of a shock upset here.
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