Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
With England already through to the Euro 2020 and Kosovo on their way to the play-offs, some may be questioning the level of motivation each will have for this relatively low stakes game. However, we think both have learned the importance of momentum over this qualification period. So, while they might not want to take too many risks, neither will likely be lacking in effort either.
England only have one blotch on their record. They lost to Czech Republic 1-0 during qualification, making them the easy favourites. Although, Kosovo have shown enough quality in the last couple months to make this far from a done deal. That loss by England – by a team that Kosovo have recently beaten – showed that although they remain the strongest team in their group, they are not without their flaws. A Kosovo firing on all cylinders could have the potential to score the upset here.
Kosovo vs England Prediction: Kosovo 0-3 England
While Kosovo do have the potential to win here, we have to go with what is likely, not what is possible. That means we’re going to have to back the favourites here. Not only that but because Kosovo will likely be playing conservatively in the run up to the play-offs – and England recently managed two extremely dominant victories – we also think this is likely to be fairly one-sided. England is becoming more and more of a well-oiled machine in the build to this tournament. With that in mind, our scoreline prediction is 3-0 in England’s favour.
Our recommended tip: Kane scores 2+ goals
Speaking of momentum, one man that we absolutely think will be looking to once again add to his incredible goal-scoring record with his international team is Harry Kane. He got the hat-trick against Montenegro and we wouldn’t be surprised if he’s eyeing another one up here. In fact, his main barrier may be the quality of his own squad, rather than the Kosovo defence. But, as we saw in that 7-0 triumph, that is still unlikely to stop him trying. If you agree with us, you can find good medium-risk 4/1 odds from Ladbrokes on a Kane scoring two or more goals prediction.
Of course, their last meeting in September was always going to be the most relevant head-to-head match between these two. But you may be surprised to learn that it is actually the only time these two teams have met. This means that England comes into this with a huge psychological advantage, considering that Kosovo have no experience of beating the English side. On the other hand, it may mean that Kosovo can still have a small element of surprise if England underestimates them here. However, we’d say that seems out of character for Southgates’ squad.
Top 3 Euro Qualifier Bookies
Players to watch: Valon Berisha & Tammy Abraham
Kosovo – Valon Berisha
If there’s one player that the England squad will be keeping a close eye on, it’s Valon Berisha. He proved to be a nightmare during the last time these two teams clashed. Of course, it wasn’t enough for Kosovo to come away with the victory. But were it not for his goals on either side of half time and inexhaustible efforts all around, it could have been a much more dominant defeat.
England: Tammy Abraham
While having Kane pegged to score more than two goals might make him an obvious choice, we think the more interesting story going into this match is the development of England’s younger players. Tammy Abraham proved against Montenegro what a precise striker he can be. It will be very interesting to see if there’ll be more steps in his evolution during this game. It’s this newer talent which is the wildcard heading into Euro 2020, and it would be great to see them shine here.