Preview: Luxembourg vs. Macedonia

Luxembourg vs. MacedoniaMacedonia faces Luxembourg on the road in a friendly match that will be used for preparations for the 2014 World Cup qualifications.  The game starts on Wednesday at 19.00 CET.

Manager John Toshack and his 18 men squad will have the first game of the new year.  Luxembourg, currently the 133rd national team on the FIFA ranking list, is hosting Macedonia in its capital city.  The game will be played at the Stade Josy Barthel which has a capacity of 8.000.  Unfortunately, there won’t be any TV coverage of the game as the Luxembourg national television decided not to broadcast the game.  Thus, MTV won’t be able to show it in Macedonia.

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The two national teams have already played once in another friendly, also at the same stadium, back in 2008.  Macedonia, under then manager Srečko Katanec, celebrated a 4:1 victory with two goals by Goran Pandev and one goal apiece by Vlatko Grozdanoski and Ilco Naumoski.

20.08.2008  Luxembourg – Macedonia  1:4   match report

Macedonia, under John Toshack, has only collected one win, the 1:0 victory at home against Andorra in the EURO 2012 qualifications.  The national team is still searching for a win in a friendly after Toshack was named the manager.  The Macedonian squad will be without defenders Goran Popov and Nikolce Noveski, both originally on the squad but each player had to be withdrawn due to injuries.  Luckily, attacker Ivan Trickovski of APOEL, who also complained of an injury, is with the squad and is expected to play on Wednesday.

The hosts will play with most of their regular squad, although players such as central defender Kim Kintziger, right winger Ben Payal and striker Joël Kitenge are missing.  Kitenge actually scored their lone goal in the previous friendly against Macedonia.  To see the complete squad of Luxembourg, click here.

Defender Boban Grncarov, back on the national team for the first time under Toshack, told FFM’s official website, “I’m happy to be back on the national team after being left out for over half a year.  I last played against Ireland in Skopje so I plan on using this chance to show Toshack that I deserve a regular place on the team as this is my first opportunity to play under him.  There is a good mood among the players and we all wish to have a positive showing as our only goal is a win.  The reality is that Luxembourg has a weaker team than us and although every national team can present problems in today’s football, we must play motivated football and show that we are a better team.”

The referees assigned by UEFA for this friendly will be from Northern Ireland with Raymond Crangle as the main referee (FIFA international since 2010) and Richard Storey and James Eakin as his assistants.  This game will be first international for Eakin. The forth official will be Serge Parage from Luxembourg.

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