Kosovo vs England: Match prediction, preview, predicted XI and more
It is the battle between the group leaders England and qualification hopefuls Kosovo in the European Qualifiers. England have by far been the best team in Group A with 5 wins and a solitary loss against the Czech Republic. On the other hand, Kosovo, who were a pretty unknown entity, have performed beyond expectations with three wins and two draws in six games.
The last time these two teams met in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, England were made to sweat it out in an eight-goal thriller, which the Three Lions ultimately won despite Harry Kane's penalty being saved by the Kosovo stopper.
England have virtually already secured their qualification to Euro 2020, thus England boss Gareth Southgate might look to try a few new players in some positions, with Ross Barkley having pulled out due to an ankle injury, especially as a win against Montenegro will mathematically guarantee qualification. Kosovo are still fighting for qualification thus will look to field their best XI and repeat the sort of performance they gave against the Czech Republic and England.
These sides have met only once before this and thus this could be the start of another wonderful footballing rivalry.
Venue and kickoff information
Venue: Fadil Vokrri Stadium, Kosovo
Date: Sunday, November 17, 2019
Kickoff: 5.00 pm(GMT), 10.30. pm (IST)
Head to Head
The sides have only met once before, at Wembley, where England ran out 5-3 winners. Two goals from Jadon Sancho, one each from Kane and Sterling and an own goal from Mergim Vojvoda gave England a win over Kosovo, who gave them a stern test with a brace from Valon Berisha and a penalty from Vedat Muriqi.
Did you know?
England have scored 11 goals in 4 games since the UEFA Nations League third-place play-off.
A win for England will almost guarantee top spot for them as they have a +20 goal difference while both the Czech Republic and Kosovo in 2nd and 3rd place have a small +2 goal difference.
England win: 8/13
Kosovo win: 14/5
England (4-3-3): Nick Pope, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Ben Chilwell, Jordan Henderson, Harry Winks, James Maddison, Jaden Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Tammy Abraham
Kosovo (4-2-3-1): Arijant Muric, Mergim Vojvoda, Amir Rrahmani, Fidan Aliti, Florent Hadergjonaj, Idriz Voca, Besar Halimi, Edon Zhegrova, Bersant Celina, Valon Berisha, Vedat Muriqi
This fixture has the potential to be another intense encounter. Kosovo have been the surprise package of this year's qualifiers. However, England's form and experience in the ranks should be enough to take them over the line this time as well.
Final score: Kosovo 1-2 England