World Cup qualifying Group J will see Romania go up against Iceland tomorrow at Stadionul Steaua in Bucharest. Can Romania secure the second position in the group or will Iceland cause an upset and keep their chances of qualifying alive?
Neither of the two teams are in great form, but Romania are certainly sitting in a more comfortable position. They are in second place in Group J, just below Germany, on 13 points, while Iceland are fifth on eight points. With nothing but two matches to go in the group stage, it is unlikely that Iceland will qualify, but the chance is still there, if they get all the available points and if other results go their way.
Romania already strengthened their place in the group table by beating Armenia 1-0 last month in a crucial and extremely close match, but there is still only a single-point difference between the two teams, and there is also Northern Macedonia with the same amount of points as Armenia to worry about. As Armenia and Northern Macedonia are about to face each other tomorrow as well, the race is on, and even goal difference could be a big decider.
Iceland last beat Liechtenstein 4-0 at home, but they have been performing rather inconsistently before that, and Romania coach Mirel Radoi can be pretty confident in overcoming the Iceland team since that is exactly what Romania did in September away from home.
We are unlikely to see Romanian striker Mitrita, the only goal-scorer against Armenia, as he is out with an injury. Reading’s Puscas is likely to take his space with Hagi and Man helping him on the wings.
Iceland should start basically the same XI as they did against Liechtenstein.
Our prediction is a close Romanian victory which will kill Iceland’s dreams of qualifying.