North Macedonia will be competing at their first major international tournament as an independent nation this summer. Igor Angelovski's men make their debut against Austria in Bucharest, Romania, on Sunday and the Austrians need to be wary of a team that beat neighbors Germany away earlier this year and have an evergreen talisman in Goran Pandev at 37. Can the Lynxes be this edition's surprise package?
Here is how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Sunday, Jun. 13 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
- Location: Arena Nationala -- Bucharest, Romania
- TV: ESPN/Univision
- Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: AUT -138; Draw +230; MKD +480 (via William Hill sportsbook)
Craving even more coverage of the world's game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.
The Austrians come into this wary that they have been dealt a potential banana skin of an opening clash. Franco Foda does have star talents like David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic fit, but there are questions over experience in certain positions with three goalkeepers that have just over 10 collective caps. There is also a question mark over goals with none scoring over their last three matches and five conceded. Not exactly the best time for Valentin Lazaro to release a pre-tournament hype song about Austria being unstoppable in attack!
North Macedonia's win over Germany brought them to the attention of many earlier this year and hinted at their giant killing ability for this summer. Up against the likes of Austria, the Netherlands and Ukraine, while talented, they certainly have three opponents who could fall foul of their charm. So much will depend upon captain Pandev, fellow attacker Aleksander Trajkovski and Elif Elmas, but they have nothing to lose and all to win on their debut.
North Macedonia to show why the Netherlands and Ukraine must take them seriously with a deserved draw which puts Austria in early difficulty. Pick: Austria 1-1 North Macedonia.