9/3/20 2:45 pm
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Moldova is hosting Kosovo in round 1 in the UEFA Nations League.
Moldova is one of the weakest teams in Europe, and they haven’t won any of their last 8 games, and they have won only 1 of their last 12 games. In the Euro Cup qualifications, Moldova was in a group with France, Turkey, Iceland, Albania, and Andorra, and unfortunately for Moldova, they ended in the last place with only 3 points, only 4 scored goals, and a massive 26 conceded goals, the most in this group. In their last qualifications match against Iceland at home, Moldova has had 45% of ball possession, 3 shots on goal, 3 corner kicks, and 79% of the correct passes. Moldova has lost this match 1-2. Moldova is as far from the top in the FIFA standings as it’s possible, in the 175th place. There are few players in Moldova that are playing in some of the better-known teams in Europe, but most of the players are playing in the Moldovan national league. There is no bright future for Moldovan soccer on the horizon because there is a lot of corruption in Moldova, and the soccer association is not investing in youth development or in the infrastructure necessary for the development of young and talented players.
Kosovo is a little bit better than Moldova, and they are in the 115th spot in the FIFA standings. Kosovo has had some good results in the Euro Cup qualifications, but they fell short. Kosovo ended the qualifications in 3rd place with 11 points, just 4 points away from the Czech Republic in second place. Offensively, Kosovo was solid with 13 scored goals, but their defense wasn’t good enough with 16 conceded goals, which is the main reason why Kosovo didn’t qualify for the Euro Cup. In their last match against England, Kosovo has had 44% of ball possession, 3 shots on goal, 6 corner kicks, and 87% of the correct passes. This was a solid match for Kosovo, but they ended up losing 0-4. There are a few decent players like Rashica, Nuhiu, Berisha, Rrahmani, and Muric playing for Kosovo, but there is still a lot of work to be done for Kosovo to become a better team. Challandes is a Swiss coach who has been at Kosovo’s helm since March of 2018, and he is doing a fantastic job. During his time on the bench, Kosovo has 11 wins, 5 draws, and 4 losses. The Euro Cup might have escaped Kosovo, but I think they have a decent chance in this Nations League group.
Moldova and Kosovo have never played against each other in the past. Kosovo is the better team here, with better players on both ends, and with more depth. Kosovo is a huge favorite in this game, and deservedly so. I will side with Kosovo on the road.