We're heading to Germany, and Kevin Hatchard believes that although the hosts may win against North Macedonia, it won't be the thrashing the market anticipates.
"Germany may have to rotate their squad, and they will find North Macedonia to be a competitive and committed opponent."
EURO qualifiers can keep it tight
Germany v North Macedonia
Wednesday 31 March, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Red Button
Things became more bleak for Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland last night, and they became bleaker for us too, as the 1-1 draw with Qatar ruined our bet. Unlike Kenny, we can throw ourselves into another game quickly, and we'll head to Duisburg for Germany's clash with North Macedonia.
North Macedonia will line up at EURO 2020 this summer, having won play-offs against Kosovo and Georgia along the way. If ever you wanted a reason to support the Nations League and the opportunities it now provides, North Macedonia's first ever qualification for a major tournament is a pretty good one. Teams like them now have a genuine shot at enjoying the glitz, glamour and indeed honour brought by a European Championship or World Cup.
Igor Angelovski's side has made a mixed start to these World Cup qualifiers. They pushed Romania hard in a 3-2 defeat in Bucharest (they only conceded the winner in the 85th minute) and then they demolished Liechtenstein 5-0. You have to go back to June 2019 for the last time they lost a game by more than two goals.
Of course, North Macedonia don't often face sides of Germany's quality, but although Jogi Loew's side has won both of its qualifiers in this break, there is certainly room for improvement. A 1-0 win at Romania failed to truly impress, and the hosts squandered a great opportunity to snatch a late equaliser.
Loew has fielded the same starting XI twice, and it seems conceivable that he will have to make changes. There will definitely be a switch in goal, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in for Manuel Neuer. The likes of Leon Goretzka and Leroy Sane could also be rested.
North Macedonia are a competitive side, and Germany still aren't quite at the peak of their powers in attack or defence. Their recent 3-0 victory over an out-of-form Iceland is their only win by more than two goals since the start of 2020. I'll give the visitors a two-and-a-half-goal headstart here on the Asian Handicap.
FBOTD 2021 P/L
Points Staked: 44
Points Returned: 32.05
P/L: -11.95 points
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