Georgia vs North Macedonia on Friday evening at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in a match that has the potential to decide whether sides finish first and second in League C Group 4 of the UEFA Nations League.
North Macedonia is currently in third place in the group. At this point, North Macedonia is the squad that is in first place in the rankings. The team that is managed by Willy Sagnol is currently in first place with 10 points, and if they were to win just one more game.
It would be enough to secure their promotion to League B. The team that they are competing against is currently in second place, and they are three points behind the leaders.
If the club that Willy Sagnol manages were to win just one more game after this point, they would have more than enough points to guarantee their promotion to League B.
Match Preview: Georgia vs North Macedonia
Georgia has kept the momentum going from their last two qualifying wins over Kosovo and Sweden and might extend their unbeaten run to 10 games this week.
The Crusaders opened their Nations League campaign with three consecutive wins before being held to a goalless draw by Bulgaria. Georgia simply needs a tie to clinch promotion to League B because of the head-to-head points system.
They will stay at the top even with a loss this week if North Macedonia doesn’t win by four goals or more. Former France international Sagnol will be pleased with his side’s defensive performances, as they have kept seven clean sheets in their past nine games in all competitions.
This excellent defensive streak includes four straight home shutouts, but North Macedonia has won only one of its previous five Nations League games in front of its supporters.
The visitors to Tbilisi kicked off their time in the Nations League in the lowest tier of competition, League D. Blagoja Milevski’s squad still has a shot at earning a spot in League B for the following cycle, and they will finish their season of competitive play in September.
The visitors to Tbilisi began their time in the Nations League in the doldrums of League D. The Lions’ victory against Italy in the World Cup playoffs will be remembered for a long time.
But their effort to beat Portugal at the last hurdle proved to be too difficult, and they were eventually unable to secure a position in the final tournament in Qatar.
Enis Bardhi, Bojan Miovski, Darko Churlinov, and an own goal scored by Graeme Torrilla helped North Macedonia cruise to a 4-0 victory over Los Llanis in their most recent match.
All four goals were scored in the first half of that match. North Macedonia is still in the running for promotion despite suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of hapless Gibraltar. North Macedonia earned their historic spot at Euro 2020 by virtue of a 1-0 victory over Georgia in their playoff final.
However, Sagnol’s side prevailed by a score of 3-0 when these two teams competed against one another back in June. North Macedonia and Georgia played out two draw each of 1-1 in the 2020-21 Nations League.
Team News: Georgia vs North Macedonia
Due to an injury, Georgia and Dinamo Tbilisi defender Jemal Tabidze was forced to drop out of the team for September’s games; nonetheless, Sagnol should be working with the best group available to him otherwise.
In the final third, Napoli starboy Khvicha Kvaratskhelia may be joined by Bordeaux loanee Zuriko Davitashvili, who is also only 21 years old. Meanwhile, Guram Kashia should lead the team from the back position.
If Kashia, who is 35 years old, plays in both of Georgia’s games in September, he would become only the third player in Georgian national team history to earn 100 caps, joining Levan Kobiashvili and Kashia’s Slovan Bratislava colleague Jaba Kankava in that exclusive club.
As for North Macedonia, captain Stefan Ristovski is one of three players who have withdrawn from the team for September’s matches due to injury. Churlinov and one-cap midfielder Valon Ethemi are the other two players who have withdrawn from the squad.
Due to injuries, some players will be unable to participate, including Erdal Rakip and Dejan Iliev, who played goalie for Arsenal in the past; nonetheless, a respectable squad should still include players such as Ezgjan Alioski and Elif Elmas.
Aleksandar Trajkovski, a striker for the national team who was not in action against Gibraltar but is in a position to earn his 80th cap for the national team, could lead the line as he looks to add to his 20 goals scored for the national team.
- Georgia Lineup: Loria, Khocholava, Kvirkvelia, Kashia, Kakabadze, Kvekveskiri, Aburjania, Azarovi, Kvaratskhelia, Davitashvili, Mikautadze.
- North Macedonia Lineup: Dimitrievski, Todoroski, Musliu, Velkovski, Alioski, Elmas, Spirovski, Trajkovski, Bardhi, Ashkovski, Ristovski.
Our Prediction: Georgia 2-1 North Macedonia
Expect an open game with plenty of goalmouth excitement this week, as both clubs will be fielding excellent differentiators and a promotion is on the line. While the hosting may not polish off another facile 3-0 victory, we have trust in Georgia to triumph and clinch their status in League B at the cost of North Macedonia thanks to the defensive nous of Sagnol’s men.
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