Belarus made a decent appearance last time out against favored Wales on a neutral location but still come with a 2:3 defeat, deserving at least a draw in my opinion.
They conceded early from the penalty in the 5th minute, but overly looking, showed a good transition game during the first part and reversed the result to their favor with goals over Lisakovich (also a penalty) and Sedko.
Throughout the match, both sides played with a lot of risks inside the box, so Wales equalized over another penalty later in the 69th, and probably a bit lucky, scored another one in the last minutes, denying Belarus at least a point in this one.
Ireland failed to meet the expectations last time out at home against underdogs from Azerbaijan when they took only a point in a 1:1 draw.
They opened the match reserved a bit, and surprisingly, conceded in the last minutes of the first part. However, their performance was visibly better during the second, but they only managed to equalize over Duffy in the 87th minute, probably deserving a bit more here, but paid the price of general passivity at the start.
They are at the 4th spot in the standings, having only a point collected so far in the World Cup campaign.
Albania was outplayed in the continuation of the World Cup qualifiers last Thursday on the road against Poland, suffering a pretty convincing defeat with a 4:1 result.
They were somewhat competitive during the first part when they scored their only goal over Cikalleshi in the 25th, but still went on a break with a 2:1 deficit, and being quite passive in the continuation, couldn’t prevent the hosts to score two more times, and will try to be more creative in the upcoming clash with the Hungarians.
They were combative in the previous one but still lacked true quality. Albania is at 4th spot in the group, being only a point in deficit compared to second-placed Poland.
Israel had an easy job last Wednesday against underdogs from the Faroe Islands, as they completely crushed them with a convincing 0:4 victory, on the road.
As the result is saying, this match was more or less one-sided, with Israel being in complete control, scoring as many four goals in the 12th, 44th, 52nd, and one more in the injury time, not providing the hosts with even a chance to be somewhat challenging in this encounter.
Israel is at the 2nd spot in the group, sharing the same amount of points as their opponents in the upcoming clash.
The hosts miss defenders Taha (13/0, Hapoel Haifa), Tawatha (21/1, Maccabi Tel Aviv), midfielder Kayal (45/2, Bnei Sakhnin), and Golasa (17/0, Maccabi Tel Aviv) compared to previous call-ups.
North Macedonia made their first historical appearance last June in the EURO tournament but failed to progress further from the group stage, as they were beaten in all of their three fixtures, pretty much expectedly.
Their appearances in the World Cup qualifiers are promising, as they are currently sitting at the 2nd spot in the group shared with Armenia, Germany, Romania, Iceland, and Lichtenstein, having six points collected so far.
After a defeat in their opening match in Romania 3:2, they bounced back and recorded two victories, against Liechtenstein at home 5:0, and their greatest one over Germany on the road with a 1:2 result.
Turkey is the only nation that is unbeaten in group G, which besides them, includes Netherlands, Montenegro, Norway, Latvia, and Gibraltar, currently sitting on the top with seven points collected so far.
They were victorious against the Netherlands at home with 4:2 and won over Norway on the road with a convincing 0:3 result, but made a setback against severely underestimated Latvia when they come with a 3:3 home draw.
Even though the Turks disappointed last time they assembled for the EURO tournament, they are entering this clash as strong favorites, and will certainly do their best to continue their campaign in the best way possible.
The Austrians met the expectations last time out at home against underdogs from the Faroe Islands, as they routinely outplayed them with a 3:1 result.
The hosts found themselves in deficit since the 19th minute, but with great persistency and sharpness at the finishing, scored three in the 30th, 37th, and 44th minute, and created an unreachable advantage.
In the continuation, the Austrians controlled the match but didn’t show too much interest to increase their lead, so the result remained unchanged till the end of the encounter.
Austrians miss defender Wober (6/0), midfielders Zulj (11/0, Goztepe), Jantscher (23/1, Sturm), Bamugartlinger (82/1, Leverkusen), and forward Arnautovic (87/26, Shanghai) compared to previous call-up.
Slovakia disappointed again in their second match of World Cup qualifiers when they took just a point in a 2:2 home draw against underdogs from Malta.
They showed very little creativity during the first part and were caught up by surprise, conceding two in the 16th and the 20th minute. Luckily, the hosts pulled themselves together in the continuation, visibly appearing better on the field, reducing over Strelec in the 49th, and leveling up just four minutes later when Skriniar was effective.
Overly looking, the Slovaks missed a great opportunity for three points, and now have two draws behind them since the begging of the campaign.
Slovakia will miss defender Gyomber (28/0, Salernitana), Vavro (11/1, Huesca), Mazan (11/0, Karvina), midfielders Stoch (60/6, Zaglebie Lubin), Sabo (18/0, Rizespor), and forward Safranko (10/0, Sepsi).
Ukraine can be satisfied with their opening match on the road against France, as they managed to come with a 1:1 draw, despite being a strong underdog.
They conceded early in the 19th minute over Griezmann and overly looking showed almost nothing during this encounter, but still had great fighting spirit against a much stronger rival.
However, they were lucky enough to level up later on in the 57th when Kimpembe had the misfortune of deflecting the shoot into his net. This surely comes as a valuable point, but it had to be said the Ukrainians took it undeservedly.
Serbia opened their World Cup campaign in the best possible manner, as they managed to get a win over them with a 3:2 result last Wednesday in Belgrade.
They had some difficulties at the start, as they conceded in the 18th minute, but managed to level up in the last minutes of the first part after a goal scored by Vlahovic. The hosts appeared much sharper at the finish when the match moved to the second, successfully scoring two more over Mitrovic in the 69th and the 75th minute, showing that they need very little to be threatening when needed.
However, they provided the Irish with a chance for a comeback when they conceded a goal in the 86th after a rookie mistake of the defense, but luckily, the guests didn’t have the strength for another one.