England travel to Kosovo on Sunday as the Three Lions look to build on their impressive 7-0 victory over Montenegro.
The away side have already qualified for Euro 2020, and looked in great form last time out. Kosovo, on the other hand, surrendered a 1-0 lead against Czech Republic, which would have given them a chance at automatic qualification.
With neither side having anything to play for, an open affair may be in order. However, England have won six from seven throughout qualification, including a 5-3 victory over Kosovo in Southampton. The home side have won three, drawn two and lost two, but enjoy open, attacking football.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Sunday 17 November|
|What Time is Kick Off?||17:00 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||Fadil Vokrri Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream||ITV 1 / ITV Player|
England have a full squad to choose from, as Raheem Sterling returns having been dropped for the Montenegro encounter. The forward was left out of the Three Lions' emphatic victory over Montenegro after a bust-up with teammate Joe Gomez.
However, Gareth Southgate will be inclined to give his stars a rest and hand opportunities to those that have not anchored down a starting place.
Kosovo are missing striker
|Kosovo||Muric; Kololli, Aliti, Rrahmani, Vojvoda; Berisha, Raskaj, Rashica, Celina, Hadergjonaj; Nuhiu.|
|England||Pickford; Chilwell, Tomori, Maguire, Trippier; Rice, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Maddison; Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Sterling.|
The two sides have only met once following Kosovo's induction into FIFA in 2016. This meeting took place in September, where England ran out 5-3 victors. Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Sterling were all on the score sheet for the Three Lions, where Berisha and Muriqi netted for the visitors.
It will be interesting to see how both sides fare against each other over time, as this fixture is relatively new for the majority of FIFA nations.
England are in exceptional form, but this was expected due to the quality of opponents in their group. They have scored 13 goals in their last two qualifiers, against Montenegro and Bulgaria, and could score a handful more with Sterling available for selection.
With their first qualifier defeat in ten years coming against Czech Republic earlier in the campaign, a shock may have been on the cards, but England have responded exceptionally.
Kosovo have won three of their previous five games, and were unfortunate to come away from their last game with a loss. They travelled to England and score thrice, but ended up losing too, so the argument could be made that their form does not reflect their performances.
Victories against Czech Republic, Gibraltar and Montenegro show that Kosovo are a side to be reckoned with. However, they must keep up their fighting spirit when England come to town.
Here is how both teams have fared in their previous five games.
|Czech Republic 2-1 Kosovo (14/11)||England 7-0 Montenegro (14/11)|
|Kosovo 2-0 Montenegro (14/10)||Bulgaria 0-6 England (14/10)|
|Kosovo 1-0 Gibraltar (FR) (10/10)||Czech Republic 2-1 England (11/10)|
|England 5-3 Kosovo (10/09)||England 5-3 Kosovo (10/09)|
|Kosovo 2-1 Czech Republic (07/09)||England 4-0 Bulgaria (07/09)|
Despite Kosovo's attacking philosophy, they must be wary of England's pace on the break. This is what caught them out last time, and could very well be their downfall again. Should they find a way around this, they may be in with a good chance.
However, England are favourites for this one for a reason.
Prediction: Kosovo 1-3 England