Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prediction: England vs Kosovo

Verdict: England win and over 3.5 goals 

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

Still enjoying a 100% start to qualifying for next year’s European Championships, England will welcome Kosovo to St. Mary’son Tuesday night.

England

Starting with Tuesday’s hosts, putting in yet another rampant display in their 4-0 victory over Bulgaria on Saturday, Gareth Southgate’s men have already all but secured top spot in Group A. Winning each of their opening three matches and the only side to boast a 100% start to qualifying, the Three Lions have continued to build off of a summer that saw them secure a Bronze medal in the inaugural Nations League. Already finding the net 14 times so far in Group A, including putting five past both Montenegro and the Czech Republic, one man to watch on Tuesday will be the red-hot Harry Kane. Leaving Wembley with the match ball after bagging a hat-trick against Bulgaria over the weekend, the Spurs ace already has five goals to his name in qualifying and will once again lead the line in midweek. It isn’t just in the final third where Southgate’s men have continued to impress. Led by £80million man Harry Maguire, England have conceded just a single goal in their last five matches on home soil. 

Team News

England will be unable to call upon both Manchester United’s Jessie Lingard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka who have withdrawn from Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Kosovo

As for the visitors, much like the Three Lions, Kosovo also find the mood in their camp at a continued high. Picking up a very impressive 2-1 win over the Czech Republic, Bernard Challandes’ side have climbed to second in Group A and are now in pole position to book a spot at a debut major tournament. Now securing back-to-back victories over the Czech’s and a dramatic winner against Bulgaria back in June, Dardanët are enjoying a remarkable 20-match unbeaten run across all competitions, a run that stems all the way back to November 2017. A team that is also soaring up the FIFA rankings, if Kosovo are to extend their run of finding the net in each of their last 10 appearances, then Tuesday’s traveling support will be looking for Vedat Muriqi to lead their charge. The Fenerbahce attacker has now scored in back-to-back appearances while on international duty.

Team News

Head Coach Bernard Challandes has no injury or suspensions to worry about before Tuesday’s trip to the South Coast.

Key Factors to Consider

  • This is the first meeting between the two nations.
  • Harry Kane has five qualifying goals in his opening three Group A appearances.
  • England have recorded five clean sheets in their last six matches at Wembley.
  • Kosovo are enjoying a 20-match unbeaten run across all competitions.
  • However, Friday’s guests have failed to record a clean sheet in any of their last five appearances.

Conclusion

While Kosovo might be enjoying a remarkable unbeaten run and dreaming of securing a spot at a maiden major tournament, Dardanët are unsurprisingly in for a tough night on Tuesday. With the Three Lions continuing to shine, particularly in the final third, Gareth Southgate’s side should be confident of continuing on their 100% start in Group A. Led by skipper Harry Kane, we’re backing England to enjoy another free-scoring outing.

Verdict: England win and over 3.5 goals 

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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