•England will look to make a positive start to their 2020-21 Uefa Nations League campaign as they take on Iceland on Saturday
•Norway had failed to secure a direct ticket to the Euros 2021, after they settled for a third-place finish in the qualification campaign
International football returns this week with the beginning of the 2020-21 Uefa Nations League. But even with domestic football returning, it seemed unlikely we would witness international football in 2020.
Uefa has found a way to (hopefully) make it work with the second edition of the Nations League having already started on Thursday. Portugal are the reigning Nations League champions, but the outright Nations League odds do not fancy them to defend their crown.
Netherlands vs Poland
Holland are going through a transitional period. This is after their manager left them to take up the managerial job at the Camp Nou at short notice. There have been some notable omissions from the Netherlands camp heading into this fixture, with the likes of Daley Blind, Davy Propper, Tonny Vilhena and Wout Weghorst not making the team.
A lot is at stake for them after the plunge they had taken in international football, where they had even failed to qualify for major tournaments after their appearance in the semi-final of World Cup back in 2014. The Oranje have been drawn in a tough group, featuring alongside Poland, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Italy, with the former awaiting them at the Johan Cruijff Arena.
Poland will miss Lewandowski, who has been given an extended rest, in the next two matches. Fortunately, they do have Krzysztof Piatek waiting on the wings, looking to make an impact just before the Bundesliga starts in two weeks’ time.
Dwight Lodeweges’s men are on a three-match winning run.
The last they lost against this opponent was back in 1979.
They have scored two or more goals in the past five games in a row.
They do have a 100 per cent unbeaten record at home over the years.
Norway vs Austria
The Lions had failed to secure a direct ticket to the Euros 2021, after they settled for a third-place finish in the qualification campaign—below Spain and Sweden.
The pain of missing out in the qualifiers plus the confidence of having been promoted from League C in the last edition coupled with the terrifying form of Erling Haaland and the home advantage should tip the scales in favour of Norway this Friday.
The game takes place in Oslo and will be played behind closed doors due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. With the winners of this group set to be promoted into League A of the Nations League for the 2022-23 edition, both sides will be looking to get off to a firm start.
The Lions had won the last time these two clashed on the pitch.
The score line was 0-1, in favour of the guests then although it was a friendly.
Franco Foda’s men have a 100 per cent winning record in every other game other than Austria.
They also have a perfect winning record in competitive fixtures
They have scored a total of 11 goals from the past four games.
At home, Lager back’s men are yet to score their first goal.
Iceland vs England
England will look to make a positive start to their 2020-21 Uefa Nations League campaign as they take on Iceland on Saturday.
Saturday’s Group A2 meeting between Iceland and England is the first between the countries since Iceland famously knocked England out of Euro 2016 at the last-16 stage.
As was the case when the two nations met at Euro 2016, England are heavy favourites to win. But Iceland’s recent success has been built on togetherness and organisation and they are expected to set up as a solid defensive unit.
Head to head
Teams Iceland England played so far 2 matches.
Iceland won 1 match while England won the other.
Zero matches ended in a draw.
On average in direct matches both teams scored a 5.00 goals per Match.
Iceland in actual season average scored 1.36 goals per match.
England average scored 2.10 goals per match in season 2020