MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 23:14:35| >> :600:5196364:5196364:
Mar 25, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Stadionul Zimbru
MoldovaMoldova
1-1
Faroe IslandsFaroe Islands
Nicolaescu (9')
Rata (35'), Ionita (46'), Armas (46')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Olsen (83')
Hansson (18'), Rolantsson (27'), Vatnhamar (76')

Preview: Moldova vs. Faroe Islands - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Moldova and Faroe Islands, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Moldova will host the Faroe Islands at the Zimbru Stadium for their opening World Cup 2022 qualifier on Thursday evening.

The two nations have never qualified for a major tournament before and head into Group F as rank outsiders as they are joined by Denmark, Austria, Scotland and Israel.


Match preview

Andorra's Max Llovera in action against Moldova in their Euro 2020 qualifier on June 8, 2019© Reuters

Italian Roberto Bordin took charge of the Moldovan national team in February, replacing Engin Firat, who failed to win a single game in charge.

The former Atalanta and Napoli midfielder has previously managed Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol, where he won two league titles between 2016 and 2018.

Bordin now steps into his first international job with good knowledge of the players he is to work with and hopes that he can help improve the team's form and performances.

Moldova, who are currently 177th in the world rankings, have never had much success during the qualifying stages for a major tournament; their best effort was for the 2014 World Cup, winning three and drawing two of their 10 qualifying matches, although they still finished 10 points behind the top two, England and Ukraine.

Bordin has inherited a squad that are currently enduring a 13-game winless run, with a 1-0 victory over fellow European minnows Andorra in June 2019 their last taste of success.

Thursday's encounter will be Moldova's first against the Faroe Islands, but they will feel that the two games against them will be their best chances of picking up points in Group F.

Faroe Islands forward Klaemint Olsen celebrates scoring against Spain in their Euro 2020 qualifier on June 7, 2019© Reuters

The Faroe Islands enjoyed a successful UEFA Nations League campaign in 2020, topping League D Group 1 by winning three and drawing three of their six games and securing promotion to League C.

This came after a regressive two-year period which saw them slip down the world rankings from 78th to 110th. A fresh start was needed and in December 2019, Lars Olsen was replaced by Hakan Ericson, who is now beginning to turn things around.

Ericson has overseen a much-needed transformation in recent months and his progressive, ambitious approach to management has instilled belief into his squad that they can progress as a nation and move their way back up the world rankings.

The Faroe Islands now have twelve full-time professionals playing in nations such as Germany and Spain and with one of the strongest squads they have had in years will now be hoping to compete at a higher level against the bigger nations.

Ericson's side, who have scored in seven of their last eight international matches, will fancy their chances of claiming all three points against an out-of-form Moldova outfit on Thursday and securing a win would be the perfect way to begin their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Moldova form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Faroe Islands form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D


Team News

Faroe Islands defender Viljormur Davidsen celebrates scoring against Romania in March 2019© Reuters

Moldova boss Bordin is likely to select 36-year-old Eugeniu Cebotaru and Artur Ionita in his starting lineup with Vadim Rata set to join a three-man midfield.

Istanbul Basaksehir centre-back Alexandru Epureanu, who is just three appearances short of his 100th international cap, is hoping to work his way back into the starting lineup ahead of Stefan Efros.

For the Faroe Islands, key midfielder and captain Hallur Hansson is expected to start and could see Brandur Hendriksson Olsen and Solvi Vatnhamar line up alongside him in the middle of the pitch.

Goalkeeper Teitur Gestsson has started in six of the last seven international matches and is set to keep the number one jersey ahead of experienced stopper Gunnar Nielsen.

Forward Klaemint Olsen, who scored three goals in the Nations League, is likely to start up front alongside Gilli Rolantsson and Joan Simun Edmundsson

Moldova possible starting lineup:
Namasco; Jardan, Epureanu, Armas, Reabciuk; Rata; Cebotaru, Ionita; Turcan; Damascan, Nicolaescu

Faroe Islands possible starting lineup:
Gestsson; Danielsen, Faero, Baldvinsson, Davidsen; Vatnhamar, Hansson, B.H. Olsen; Rolantsson, K. Olsen, Edmundsson


SM words green background

We say: Moldova 0-1 Faroe Islands


Both European minnows will view this fixture as one of their best opportunities to pick up points in Group F and start their World Cup qualifying campaign strongly.

With little to separate the two sides, we can see the Faroe Islands edging out Moldova on Thursday evening.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data


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Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
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SAILING
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ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
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HOCKEY
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