Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
National Arena Toshe Proeski will host Sunday’s World Cup qualifier between North Macedonia and Iceland. The Macedonians are on the right track to book their place in the playoffs, but seeing that Romania are breathing down their neck, this has to go down as a must-win game for the home team. A man to watch in the home team will be Levante midfielder Enis Bardhi, who scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 crushing of Armenia, and he is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders.
The Icelanders, on the other hand, have nothing to play for in the last group game as they missed out on a place at the next year’s showpiece tournament. Iceland are still without key player Gylfi Sigurdsson, and given North Macedonia’s display in the triumph over Armenia, home win should be considered. Midfielder Ari Skulason is out of contention with injury for the visiting side.
Highlighted Player (Aleksandar Trajkovski):
Aleksandar Trajkovski is a Macedonian international who played for Cementarnica 55 during his youth career. He made 11 league appearances for the club at senior level as well and in 2010 he moved to Croatian team Inter Zapresic.
The attacking midfielder failed to prove his worth in the 2010/2011 season and, as a result, he was sold to Zulte Waregem in the summer of 2011. He played an important role in the Belgian team from 2011 to 2015 as he scored 11 goals in 83 league appearances for the club. It has to be noted, though, that Trajkovski spend the 2013/2014 season on loan at Mechelen. In 2015 he was named Macedonian Footballer of the Year and the same year he signed a contract with Italian side Palermo.
Speaking of his international career, Aleksandar Trajkovski has 15 caps for Macedonia U21 and he made his debut for the senior team on 10 August, 2011 in a friendly against Azerbaijan.
Highlighted Team (Iceland):
Iceland had little to no success during the first 60 years of entering the FIFA competitions, failing to qualify to a single major tournament in that period, but the team then went on to make tremendous progress at the start of the 21st century.
The Nordic side narrowly missed out on a place at the 2014 World Cup, losing in the play-off to Croatia, but they then enjoyed a thoroughly impressive qualifying campaign to reach the Euro 2016, taking 20 points from 10 matches to leave Turkey and Netherlands trailing in their wake.
As a result, the generation featuring players like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Emil Hallfredsson will go down as one of the most successful in the national team history and it could be quite some time before another team repeat their success. Even if he was only used as a bit-part player during the Euro 2016 qualifiers, Eidur Gudjohnsen has got to be mentioned as the first Icelandic footballer to have played for top European sides.