MX23RW : Friday, July 30 04:58:15| >> :600:4644144:4644144:
Mar 31, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Rheinpark Stadion
LiechtensteinLiechtenstein
1-4
IcelandIceland
Frick (79')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Mar Saevarsson (12'), Bjarnason (45+1'), Palsson (77'), Mar Sigurjonsson (90+4' pen.)

Preview: Liechtenstein vs. Iceland - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Struggling Iceland seek to end to a seven-match losing run as they visit Vaduz for their World Cup 2022 qualifying fixture against lowly Liechtenstein on Wednesday.

Arnar Vidarsson's first games in charge ended in losses to Germany and Armenia last week, in the opening stages of Iceland's Group J campaign, while the hosts went down to Euro 2020 finalists North Macedonia at the weekend.


Match preview

Iceland's Kari Arnason looks dejected after the match on March 25, 2021© Reuters

Consecutive defeats for Iceland - in Duisburg and then Yerevan - were their sixth and seventh in succession, with Sunday's latest loss being their ninth in ten matches since September 2020.

Having reached the top tier of countries in the Nations League, several of those morale-sapping reverses have come expectedly, against sides such as Belgium and England, as the 2018 World Cup participants sank to a pointless campaign - finishing some ten points behind their closest competitors and posting a -14 goal difference.

Recent setbacks against Hungary and now Armenia are perhaps more concerning though, with the latter coming after the concession of two second-half goals at the Republican Stadium. In fact, the Armenians had been underdogs coming into the game, having never before beaten Iceland in their three previous meetings, without registering even a single goal.

Their inability to replace ageing stalwarts with players of a similar standard has inevitably caught up with the Nordic nation of late and reaching their second straight finals already looks a tall order for Arnar Vidarsson's men.

In fact, Iceland have now lost their past three games by an aggregate score of nine goals to nil, but at least Wednesday's contest is one they will be firm favourites to win.

Liechtenstein's Jens Hofer and Andreas Malin in action on March 28, 2021© Reuters

Currently ranked 181st in the world, little Liechtenstein began another attempt at competing with top-level nations last week, in qualification for Qatar 2022, and come into their third match of the campaign following back-to-back defeats against Armenia and North Macedonia.

Sunday night's mauling at the hands of the Euros-bound Macedonians came after a second-half landslide, in which they conceded four goals to ultimately lose 5-0, having had less than a quarter of the possession.

Martin Stocklasa's men now welcome their Northern counterparts to the Rheinpark Stadium on Wednesday, having tasted victory just once from their last 20 outings and even suffered losses to both Malta and Gibraltar last autumn.

The principality's capital city of Vaduz has been far from a stronghold for the hosts either, as they prepare to face the world's 46th-ranked side on home soil.

Having failed to even score in their five most recent home fixtures, the last time Liechtenstein managed to hit the net as hosts was in a 1-1 draw with Armenia back in October 2019.

Therefore, they will have commensurately low expectations on Wednesday, as Iceland look to move clear of their opponents with a convincing victory in this battle at the bottom of the Group J standings.

Liechtenstein World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • L

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

Iceland World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • L

Iceland form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L


Team News

Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson in action during his side's international friendly with Norway on June 2, 2018© Reuters

Iceland's impotent start to the qualification process has not been aided by the absence of their most gifted player, Gylfi Sigurdsson, as the Everton man was given permission to miss this international period, with his wife due to give birth.

Both veteran winger Emil Hallfredsson and Alfred Finnbogason - who scored his nation's first-ever World Cup Finals goal in 2018 - are still struggling with injuries for the visitors, while Runar Mar Sigurjonsson came off early in the loss to Germany and was only fit enough for a place on the bench last time out.

Iceland's top active scorer, IFK Gothenburg forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, was disappointed not to get the nod in Armenia, but will expect to start in a more attacking lineup against more modest opposition. The former Ajax man may join Jon Dadi Bodvarsson - who has just three goals from his 57 caps to date - in a front pair.

Teenage forward Noah Frick could start up front for Liechtenstein and should be joined in the team by older brother Yanick Frick, who most likely will start out wide in Martin Stocklasa's XI.

Swiss Super League regular Nicolas Hasler again plays a major role in the hosts' limited attack. The FC Thun forward is the principality's top scorer still in the squad, with his five goals some 11 behind the Frick brothers' long-retired father Mario Frick, who once plied his trade in Serie A.

Midfielder Fabio Wolfinger and older brother Sandro Wolfinger are another sibling pairing in the home side's selection and both are set to keep their places in the side.

Liechtenstein possible starting lineup:
Buechel; Hofer, S. Wolfinger, Malin; Frommelt, Meier, F. Wolfinger, Kuhne, Y. Frick; Hasler; N. Frick

Iceland possible starting lineup:
Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Ingason, Arnason, Skulason; J. Gudmundsson, Gunarsson, Sigurdsson, A. Gudmundsson; Bodvarsson, Sigthorsson


SM words green background

We say: Liechtenstein 0-1 Iceland

Despite time catching up on several of their stars of successful past campaigns, Iceland have a handful of younger talents, such as Arnor Sigurdsson and Albert Gudmundsson, who are more than capable of ending their country's miserable recent run on Wednesday.

Disappointment at the start they have made upon the long road to Qatar is unlikely to be quelled by victory over minnows Liechtenstein, but it should at least relieve some of the pressure building on their new coach's shoulders.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting that at least one team will not score (BTTS - no) 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.BTTS No:data


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