MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 19:54:29| >> :600:4616830:4616830:
Mar 31, 2021 at 5pm UK at Vazgen Sargsyan anvan Hanrapetakan Marzadasht
ArmeniaArmenia
3-2
RomaniaRomania
Spertsyan (56'), Haroyan (87'), Barseghyan (89' pen.)
Barseghyan (22'), Bayramyan (27'), Haroyan (41')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Cicaldau (62', 72')
Mogos (24'), Puscas (41'), Maxim (59'), Bancu (66')
Puscas (78')

Preview: Armenia vs. Romania - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Armenia and Romania, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Armenia will be looking to maintain their perfect start to World Cup 2022 qualifying when they welcome Romania to the Republican Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Joaquin Caparros's side have defeated Liechtenstein and Iceland in their opening two Group J matches, while Romania have three points from a possible six.


Match preview

Armenia's Tigran Barseghyan celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 28, 2021© Reuters

Not only have Armenia won their first two games, they have also kept a clean sheet in both to match Group J pacesetters - and four-time world champions - Germany stride for stride.

It took a late Noah Frommelt own goal for the side ranked 99th in the FIFA rankings to overcome Liechtenstein, before seeing off Iceland 2-0 in an impressive result on Sunday.

Tigran Barseghyan and Khoren Bayramyan were on target in Yerevan to put Armenia in a strong position in what is likely to be a tight battle for second place behind Germany.

Caparros's men are now unbeaten in seven matches, winning five of those en route to finishing top of their UEFA Nations League group at the end of last year.

The target now will be to qualify for a first major tournament as an independent nation, something they can move a step closer to achieving with victory against Romania.

Germany's Joshua Kimmich in action with Romania's Razvan Marin on March 28, 2021© Reuters

Romania are three points behind after following up a 3-2 win over North Macedonia - secured through a late Ianis Hagi goal - with a narrow 1-0 loss to Germany at the weekend.

Germany dominated possession and the shot count, but they could not add to Serge Gnabry's 16th-minute strike and Romania had a couple of chances to snatch a point late on.

Mirel Radoi will not be too downbeat heading into this huge clash with Armenia, however, even if that loss did bring an end to his side's four-game unbeaten streak.

Romania have qualified for the World Cup on six previous occasions, though they have not competed at the global event since 1998 and a defeat here would be a massive blow.

The sides have met on five previous occasions, with Romania winning four of those and drawing the other. The most recent encounter finished 1-0 in their favour three years ago.

Armenia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • W

Armenia form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Romania World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • L

Romania form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L


Team News

Armenia's Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates scoring their second goal in September 2019© Reuters

Romania made a couple of changes to their backline for the game with Germany, while Hagi and Valentin Mihaila came in for Dennis Man and Florinel Coman in attack.

Radoi could revert back to the side that started against Romania, with this game taking priority over the Germany one.

George Puscas did well as a late substitute last time out and is pushing for inclusion up top, though Claudiu Keseru - who had Romania's other chance - is unlikely to make way.

As for the home side, Bayramyan dropped to the bench against Iceland but scored as a second-half substitute, which should see him recalled.

Norberto Briasco and Sargis Adamyan are the preferred pairing up top and are expected to retain their places for the visit of Romania.

Star man Henrikh Mkhitaryan is not included in the squad after sustaining an injury for club side Roma earlier this month.

Armenia possible starting lineup:
Yurchenko; Hambardzumyan, Haroyan, Calisir, Hovhannisyan; Barseghyan, Udo, Grigoryan, Bayramyan; Adamyan, Briasco

Romania possible starting lineup:
Nita; Popescu, Chiriches, Tosca, Camora; Stanciu, Marin; Hagi, Tanase, Mihaila; Keseru


SM words green background

We say: Armenia 1-1 Romania

Armenia have made a perfect start to their qualifying campaign and are unbeaten in seven matches.

Sunday's loss to Germany aside - a game in which Romania could have snatched a late point - the visitors have also been in good form.

That suggests this should be a tight match in Yerevan and we are backing this one to finish level.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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