Our prediction for this World Cup 2018 match:
Despite the fact that experienced attacker Goran Pandev returned to the national team, Macedonia have been struggling in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. The former Yugoslavian republic suffered a 2-1 loss to Albania in their opener and they failed to impress in Thursday’s football match against Israel. The Macedonians were beaten by Elisha Levy’s troops in front of home fans and it is no surprise they are considered big underdogs in Sunday’s game against Italy. The Azzurri were on the verge of suffering a loss to Spain in their second group game, but Daniele De Rossi scored a late equaliser from the penalty spot and helped Giampiero Ventura’s troops pick up one point from the match. Italy aim to return to winning ways and seeing that important defender Giorgio Chiellini returns from suspension, we predict that the Azzurri are going to pick up all three points from the clash against the out-of-form Macedonians.
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 (Italy):
With four World Cup titles and one European Championship trophy, Italy remain one of world’s most successful teams and they have also finished as runners up at major tournaments on four occasions. The Azzurri have become famous for their result oriented football over the years which is perfectly suited for World Cup and Euro finals, so it is now a surprise when they fail to reach the final stages.
After winning the second and third edition of the World Cup, Italy endured a difficult period until lifting their first European Championship title in 1968, while they also managed to show some improvement at the turn of the century. While winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Azzurri reached Euro finals in 2000 and 2012, and they are still regarded as one of the leading sides in Europe.
There have been too many high-profile players leaving their mark on the national team to count, but the likes of Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Luigi Riva and Alessandro Del Piero will go down as some of the most successful ones.