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North Macedonia were expected to struggle and although they’ve lost to both Austria and Ukraine, they’ve battled gamely and have scored in each fixture.
In fact, Igor Angelovski’s side have found the net in 16 of 17 fixtures since November 2019, even if the standard of opposition hasn’t been that high for the most part, with the exception when they downed Germany 2-1 in Duisburg in a March World Cup qualifier.
Netherlands To Win And Both Teams To Score
The Netherlands’ 2-0 win over Austria might give pause for thought, although their opponents that day were missing main marksmen Marko Arnautovic.
They conceded twice on the opening day in a pulsating win over Ukraine, another two goals in a warm-up friendly with Scotland, while their only other clean sheets from their past six fixtures came against Latvia, Gibraltar and Georgia.
Prior to that, they’d managed just one shutout in eight fixtures, even conceding four in a World Cup qualifier against a Turkey side that haven’t shown much cutting edge this summer.
Both teams have scored in four of North Macedonia’s past five fixtures, but we can’t look past another win for the Netherlands, who are now W7-D1-L1.
Frank De Boer’s outfit will surely get found out in the knockout rounds when their defence is tested by someone better, but with home advantage, it would be quite the upset if they failed to take all three points here.
Indeed, North Macedonia might be scoring goals, but the only clean sheets of their own from their last 15 matches since the start of 2020 have been picked up against Georgia, Liechtenstein and Kazakhstan.
Time Of First Goal 1-15
Win, draw or lose, the Netherlands have bagged at least two goals in each of their past nine fixtures. With a high output on the agenda for this clash, the time of the first goal is worth considering.
There’s been at least one strike inside 20 minutes in eight of the Netherlands’ past 11 fixtures, as well as one no later than the 15th minute in six of the last nine.