Kosovo and Greece will clash on Sunday, September 5, at Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri in Pristina, in a Group B match of World Cup 2022 Qualifiers. Kosovo last met with Greece in October 2020, when they played a draw, having lost their only previous meeting a month prior with 1-2.
Kosovo vs Greece
When: Sunday, September 5 – 20:45 CEST
Where: Stadium Fadil Vokrri in Pristina, Kosovo
Weather: Intermittent Clouds, 17°C
Referee: François Letexier (FRA)
Kosovo will host Greece on Sunday, September 5, marking their third meeting in history. These two last met during the UEFA Nations League group stage in 2020, when Greece won in Pristina (2-1) and played a draw in the second leg at home.
Neither team made it out of the group back then, with Greece landing in second, two points short of Slovenia, and Kosovo in third, nine points short of the top spot and only four clear of relegation. Even though neither is expected to achieve much in the World Cup qualifiers either, that shouldn’t discourage them from giving their best shot at securing a ticket for Qatar.
Kosovo Looking For Crucial Points
Kosovo haven’t had the best start of the World Cup 2022 Qualifiers, having lost both of their opening matches against Sweden (0-3) and Spain (1-3). However, Bernard Challandes’ men have managed to bounce back on Thursday, with a 1-0 victory against Georgia.
Not exactly something to write home about; however, that win has kept Kosovo in the race for a top-three finish, as they are now four points short of Spain in second with one game in hand.
With their win against Georgia, Kosovo are 4-1 across their last five. That run includes a loss against Guinea (1-2) and four wins against San Marino (4-1), Malta (2-1), Gambia (1-0) and Georgia (1-0).
In regards to team news, Kosovo will welcome back Hekuran Kryeziu and Bernard Berisha. The duo could feature tonight and strengthen the midfield, adding additional support for Vedat Muriqi, who is expected to keep his spot in the team after scoring a goal against Georgia.
Similarly, Arijanet Muric could feature again, having kept a clean sheet last time out, granted we wouldn’t be surprised if Challandes puts Samir Ujkani back into the starting lineup. On the other side, Arber Zeneli and Edon Zhegrova will be unavailable as they’re out with injures.
A Could-Be-Worse Position for Greece
Greece have played the fewest games out of all Group B teams. So far, they’ve been involved in only two and have managed to produce two points with draws against Spain (1-1) and Georgia (1-1).
The Blue and White stole a point from Spain way back in March, which was a compelling result. However, as much as we can praise the 2004 EURO champions for that result, Greece also managed only a draw against Georgia (1-1) and are the only team from Group B to have dropped points against Willy Sagnol’s men.
Across their last five, Greece are 2-2-1 with wins against Honduras (2-1) and Norway (2-1), two draws against Belgium (1-1) and Georgia (1-1), as well as a 1-2 loss to Switzerland at the start of September.
At this point, it’s worth noting that Greece’s loss to the Swiss was their first fixture since June when they travelled to Norway for a friendly match.
Christos Tzolis remains doubtful for Greece as he recovers from an injury. However, he has returned to training with the team and could enter the match from the bench. Outside of Tzolis, there are no notable absentees for the visitors.
Kosovo vs Greece Betting Pick
As mentioned above, Greece started their World Cup 2022 Qualifiers campaign with a respectable 1-1 draw against Spain, which would suggest that they should do well against Kosovo. However, Kosovo are an entirely different team than Spain, which should force Greece to adapt their playstyle and explore a more attack-minded approach.
That should leave the visitors vulnerable and open up opportunities for Kosovo to punish them. It could be a close match, and we don’t exclude a possibility of a draw, but at the same time, the hosts seem a bit underrated.
Prediction: Kosovo +0.50 Asian Handicap – 1.71 at Sportmarket