• Analysis

Match Preview: Kosovo vs England

England
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Kosovo will welcome England to the Fadil Vokrri Stadium in Prishtina for their EURO 2020 qualifying encounter on Sunday evening.

The English national football team celebrated their 1000th international game with a 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro at the historic Wembley stadium.

They now travel to Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo looking to close their EURO 2020 qualifying campaign in style.

But although the Three Lions have already booked their place at the upcoming European Championship, Gareth Southgate’s boys still have what to play for at the Fadil Vokrri Stadium tomorrow evening.

A win against the Dardanians would guarantee England’s spot in the first pot ahead of the EURO 2020 draw on Saturday, November 30 in Bucharest. If they lose or draw, however, they could drop in the second pot and potentially face both Belgium and Portugal in the Group stage.

Kosovo, on the other hand, officially lost their chances for a top-two finish in Group A with the 2-1 defeat against the Czech Republic on Thursday evening.

The youngest country on the Balkans though is still in the race for a place at the upcoming European Championship as they will play in the UEFA Nations League playoffs in March and face their neighbours Macedonia in the semi-finals.

Team news

Kosovo is without their main striker Vedat Muriqi, who has been ruled out of the November EURO 2020 qualifying fixtures with an ankle injury.

As for the visitors, all eyes will be on Raheem Sterling after his public fallout with Liverpool’s defender Joe Gomez. Southgate left him out of the Montenegro squad as a disciplinary measure, but the Man City forward is back in contention.

Joe Gomez, who was booed at Wembley when he entered as a substitute, is now unavailable, along with his Liverpool teammate – Jordan Henderson.

Stats

Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in only 12 EURO qualifying appearances – one more will take him past Wayne Rooney (27 matches) as England’s highest EURO qualifying scorer.

Defender Fikayo Tomori and goalkeeper Dean Henderson could make their international debuts for England in this match.

In the reverse fixture, Kosovo were the first visiting team to score three goals in a qualifier in England since Croatia in November 2007. The Dardanians, however, suffered a 5-3 defeat.

The Three Lions have scored five goals in five different fixtures in 2019 – eclipsing their 1937 record of four.

Gareth Southgate’s boys will enter the final round of the qualifiers with the highest-scoring goal ratio, having scored 4,71 goals per game in the EURO 2020 qualifying process.

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