Ten European teams have secured their spots at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, with three places still up for grabs via the play-off path.
Two finals will be decided on Tuesday, while Wales will take on the winner of the tie between Scotland and Ukraine at a later date to determine the last UEFA representative at Qatar 2022.
Tuesday 29 March (20:45 CEST) Portugal-North Macedonia Poland-Sweden
North Macedonia out to slay another giant
After their shock last-minute semi-final win over reigning European champions Italy, North Macedonia are now just one more victory away from making it to the World Cup for the first time in their history. To make this dream a reality, coach Blagoja Milevski’s have another tough task on their hands however – first Italy, now Portugal…
The EURO 2016 winners, with the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo in the ranks, defeated Turkey in their semi-final and are looking to secure a sixth World Cup spot in a row. The Seleção das Quinas will also be able to count on home support in their final.
Clash of the striking titans
Unlike the other teams in action, Poland were given a bye in the semi-finals last Thursday and instead took on Scotland in a friendly, drawing 1-1. Robert Lewandowski (128 appearances/74 goals) did not feature in that match, but he will be there on Tuesday against Sweden and on the hunt for the goals that will fire Poland into the World Cup.
Sweden made it through a thrilling semi-final against Czech Republic after extra time to book a spot in the play-off final against Poland. Coach Janne Andersson had to do without Zlatan Ibrahimovic (120 appearances/62 goals), who was suspended after accumulating too many yellow cards, but the 40-year-old will be back to face Poland.
Facts and figures
74 – The number of international goals scored by The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2021 Robert Lewandowski. The 33-year-old did not feature in last week’s friendly against Scotland and should be all the hungrier for goals this week.
19 – Portugal have scored at least once in each of their last 19 World Cup qualifying home matches.
9 – North Macedonia meanwhile have found the back of the net in each of their previous nine away matches in World Cup qualifying, so neutrals can expect an exciting game.
2 – Poland and Sweden have met three times at the World Cup or in European qualifying, with the the Swede having their noses in front thanks to wins in two of those ties.
What they said
“We need to show the same respect to North Macedonia that we would to Italy. A team that goes to Italy and beats the European champions doesn’t need introductions.” Fernando Santos, Portugal coach
“Can we beat Portugal? Yes, we will win. We will do everything to win and we will do it.” Stefan Ristovski, North Macedonia captain
“We have studied Sweden in depth. We know what to expect from them. They are a very good, very well organised team, no doubt about it. But we will have our plan for this match.” Czesław Michniewicz, Poland coach
“I have no idea whether a performance like [the semi-final one against the Czech Republic] would be enough [against Poland]. We won’t play the same way, because Poland play differently.” Janne Andersson, Sweden coach