World Cup 2022 Qualification
Match Previews: Pick of the bunch
Norway vs Turkey
The Norwegians got off to an easy start in their qualification against Gibraltar. It did however take them some time to find the net against one of the lowest ranked sides, while their main man Haaland failed to find the target. Whether that will be a good sign for Turkey or not we shall see, but a Haaland desperate for goals may not be what you want to be up against.
Turkey bested Netherlands in a 6 goal thriller on the opening day of qualification, winning 4-2. Burak Yilmaz was the star of the show, picking up a hat-trick and earning his side an unexpected 3 points. Confidence will be soaring after that, and they’ll head into this one with a lot of belief that they can take something from a Norway side on the rise.
Serbia vs Portugal
The Serbians’ fought back to beat Ireland after going 1-0 down early, with Mitrovic needed off the bench to grab a brace. This will be a completely different game as Portugal have a lot of quality all over the pitch that can hurt you, even if they do make changes to their side. A tough night for the Serbia defence is expected.
Portugal had to rely on an own goal to get all 3 points at home to Azerbaijan in their opening game. It was a dominant performance, but the scoreline will show a lack of end product from an extremely talented side. With the players that Portugal have at their disposal, they should be winning this comfortably, but it’s whether they’re up for a battle or not.
Israel vs Scotland
Both sides seem to always be drawn together in tournaments, and it always makes for exciting games, with both having success. Israel will feel they owe Scotland one after their Euro exit on penalties to the Scots, and they will be confident that they can take all 3 points here after already doing so in November 2020.
Scotland have found success and a certain style under Steve Clarke that works for them for the time being. It isn’t always pretty to watch, but if it gets results, then it works. They’re a side that is going to grind out results and they have to get back to doing so after a few losses in their most recent fixtures. They should be confident they can come here and pick a win after knocking Israel out of the Euros not too long ago.
Romania vs Germany
The Romanians will feel that they’re the second best team in the group after Germany, and they might be right. They have a real chance of qualification, and they could even have a chance of getting something here against a Germany side that at times doesn’t show up. The Germans are beatable and it has shown plenty of times throughout their recent results. It wouldn’t be a shock if Romania get a result in this one.
Germany should be comfortable enough throughout the qualification process as they are a lot better than every other team, on paper anyway. Romania pose a challenge, especially if Germany makes some changes to their side and play a lot of younger players, which has happened in the past. They don’t always look like a top side and they have looked average in certain games, but if they’re on their game, it could be a long night for Romania.