A look at what happens in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Europe on Sunday: GROUP B Spain take on Georgia under…
A look at what’s going on in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Europe on Sunday:
Spain face Georgia under pressure to secure a convincing victory in Tbilisi after being held 1-1 at home by Greece in their opener. Luis Enrique’s side dominated possession against the Greeks and secured an opener from Álvaro Morata, but a penalty conceded in the second half ruined their chances of victory. Despite the setback, Luis Enrique said he was happy with what he called his team’s best defensive performance under his leadership. Georgia created scoring opportunities but lost 1-0 to Sweden in their opener. Zlatan Ibrahimovic pitted the winner of Sweden against Georgia in their first international game in nearly five years. Sweden will seek to maintain its strong start during its visit to Kosovo. This will be the first meeting between the two parties.
Italy lost three key players in their first 2-0 win over Northern Ireland. Captain Giorgio Chiellini and forwards Domenico Berardi and Francesco Caputo left the squad on Saturday with various physical issues. Francesco Acerbi is expected to replace Chiellini in defense against Bulgaria, while Federico Chiesa and Andrea Belotti are expected to intervene in the attack. Berardi opened the scoring against Northern Ireland for their third goal in as many games for the national team. Italy coach Roberto Mancini is looking for a more complete performance after the Azzurri declined in the second half against Northern Ireland. Italy, which failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, are on a 23-game unbeaten streak. In the other group game, Switzerland hosts Lithuania.
French coach Didier Deschamps will demand a significant improvement from his key players against Kazakhstan, following the lukewarm midweek draw at home against Ukraine for the world champions. His loyalty to center-forward Olivier Giroud, for example, is put to the test. Because if Giroud has done very well for France over the years, his advanced age and his lack of clarity of the game not to play for Chelsea are starting to say it. Now might be the time to give Manchester United’s Anthony Martial a chance. It’s Ukraine versus Finland in the other game. Finland’s Teemu Pukki is looking to continue his goal form for club and country. His 22 league goals moved Norwich closer to second in the Premier League promotion, and he scored twice against Ukraine in the first group game to reach 29 international goals. That puts him just three behind former Barcelona star Jari Litmanen’s national record.
Seeded Denmark already seem to be in control of the squad after the first round of the match. A solid 2-0 away win over Israel as Scotland and Austria clinched points for a 2-2 draw in Glasgow was the perfect start. The No.12-seeded Danes, a place above Germany, are favored to win at home against No.177 Moldova, which was held in a home draw by the Faroe Islands on Thursday. Austria is now home to the Faroe Islands, and many members of the Scottish squad will play in front of fans for the first time this season in Israel. After Israel’s rapid vaccination program, 5,000 fans were inside Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium to watch Denmark win.
England manager Gareth Southgate says he is happy with his midfield options despite the absence of Jordan Henderson, who is in doubt for the European Championship due to a groin injury. Mason Mount and Declan Rice could be in England’s midfield against Albania in the second World Cup qualifying game, which follows a 5-0 win over San Marino. Southgate calls Mount of Chelsea “a very intelligent player” who can strike a balance with West Ham’s Rice, his childhood friend. Manchester City attacking midfielder Phil Foden could also have another chance to impress in Tirana. England will be without Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford due to a foot injury. After a 3-3 draw when they met in the group opener, Poland and Hungary have less demanding matches. Poland hosts Andorra and Hungary is absent in San Marino.
A 3-0 win over Iceland in the opener took some of the pressure off Germany after their 6-0 loss to Spain last year. Romania away could pose more of a threat to a German side that lack many first-team players due to injuries and a coronavirus case last week. This meant that coach Joachim Löw played defensive midfielder Emre Can as a makeshift left-back against Iceland. Leon Goretzka and Leroy Sané are the last doubts about injuries. Romania come off a narrow 3-2 victory over North Macedonia and have not played against Germany in a competitive game since a 1-1 draw at the European Championship in 2000. Facing the Armenia, Iceland are without Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson as he tries to do so. rediscover the form that led the North Atlantic nation to the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup. North Macedonia welcomes Liechtenstein.
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