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Euro 2020 Preview - North Macedonia

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🇲🇰 North Macedonia 🇲🇰

North Macedonia will participate in their first ever major international tournament at this summer’s European Championships.


Road to Euro 2020
North Macedonia finished third in Group G behind Poland and Austria, however they qualified via the play-offs thanks to their Uefa Nations League performance.

It was national hero Goran Pandev who scored the winner against Georgia in the playoffs. Even without fans allowed in the ground due to the pandemic, people crowded the streets waving flags, while fireworks were set in to the night sky in celebration.


What to Expect
Macedonia have found a degree of success by focusing their attacks down the flanks through the use of effective wing backs. They rely the supply of several crosses in to the area for the likes of legend of Goran Pandev to feed on.


Possible Lineup
Igor Angelovski is likely to prefer a 3-4-1-2 formation for this tournament. Stole Dimitrievski's club form is likely to see him start ahead of Damjan Shishkovski in goal.  The preferred back three appears to be Egzon Beltjulai, Visar Musilu and Kire Ristevski. The wing backs that will be heavily utilised are likely to be Stefan Ristovski and Ezgjan Alioski. Central midfielders Arijan Ademi and Boban Nikolov are likely to offer protection to the defence by playing deep in midfield which will allow Eljif Elmas to play in a more free role to be a creative outlet from midfield. The legend Goran Pandev is expected to start alongside Ilija Nestorovski with Aleksander Trajovski and Ivan Trickovski pushing for a starting place.


Key Player
Eljif Elmas was North Macedonia’s top scorer in qualifying with four goals. The central midfielder was linked with Leeds United last summer but hasn't featured as much as he would have anticipated too for Napoli this season. He is however very admired by his national side, as he's given the freedom to roam horizontally across the midfield. He is also trusted to come inside and regularly shoot if the opportunity presents itself. He relies largely on his technical ability and could be the biggest success story to come out this generation of Macedonia players.


The Red Lions are likely to be written off by many people before a ball is kicked. They finished below Austria in qualification and they've got two more superior teams in Netherlands and Ukraine to contend with. However, its worth remembering that North Macedonia recently showed they are capable of causing an upset with a 2-1 victory over Germany.

Nothing should be taken away from how great of a story this is. It will be interesting to see how they cope with the pressures of participating in a major tournament. 



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P. S Alexander had his most difficult campaign in Asia against Raja Porus in modern day Punjab, Pakistan. Punjab means land of five rivers it's called Pentapotamia in Greek which is the same. 

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