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Preview: Macedonia - Armenia

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Macedonia vs ArmeniaMacedonia vs ArmeniaThe first game at home for Macedonia will be against Armenia on Tuesday in the second round of the Group B qualifications for the EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

The Armenian national team, same as Slovakia is a well known for the Macedonians since in the past qualifications the two teams have met four times. For both national teams, the qualifications for the EURIO 1996 in England was the first ever after the two countries gained its independence from Yugoslavia and USSR. The first game between Macedonia and Armenian was played in Yerevan and ended with entertaining 2:2 with back than raising star Gjorgji Hristov scoring his first ever national team goal. In the return game in Skopje, Armenia managed to win with 2:1 celebrating its first official victory. But, eventually on the end Macedonia finished above Armenia in the group table with 7 points, two more than the popular Highlanders. The two teams waited for 10 years before meeting again in the qualification for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. This time Macedonia won both games, 3:0 in Skopje and 2:1 in Yerevan, ending 5th with 9 points, two more than 6th placed Armenia. Igor Mitreski, Velice Sumulikoski and Goran Pandev played in the first game with the last two scoring a goal (first and still last for Sumi), while on the second the same three played plus Goran Popov with Pandev scoring both goals. In the last qualification for the World Cup in South Africa, Armenia finished on the last place with only 4 points, a 2:2 draw away to Estonia and a 2:1 home win over Belgium.

10.05.1995 Armenia - Macedonia 2:2
06.09.1995 Macedonia - Armenia 1:2
18.08.2004 Macedonia - Armenia 3:0 match report
04.06.2005 Armenia - Macedonia 1:2 match report

Today, both teams are still on the same level as in 1996 and 2006, no appearance on any EURO or World Cup and no progress made. Armenia, like Macedonia, never managed to finish on the first 3 places. Both teams lost their EURO 2012 opening matches, Armenia at home against Ireland with 1:0, while Macedonia with the same result away to Slovakia. For the Macedonian fans, this is a must win game and no excuses will be accepted if the players don't win. Macedonia will be without Vance Sikov who was red carded against Slovakia and also without coach Mirsad Jonuz who got a red card as well on the same game and is waiting for UEFA to decide on the amount of matches he will be suspended, while Aco Stojkov is injured.

For the game in Skopje, the national team coach of the Highlanders, Vardan Razmik Minasyan, arrived in Macedonia with 18 players among which are: nearly 38-years old right back and captain Sargis Hovsepyan, currently star player Henrikh Mkhitaryan, former Ajax player Edgar Manucharyan and Brazilian born Marcos Pizzelli.

Goalkeepers
Roman Berezovsky - Khimki, Russia
Gevorg Kasparov - Mika

Defenders
Robert Arzumanyan - Randers, Denmark
Hrayr Mkoyan - Mika
Ararat Arakelyan - Banants
Sargis Hovsepyan - Pyunik
Artak Yedigaryan - Pyunik
Hovhannes Hambardzumyan - Banants

Midfielders
Karlen Mkrtchyan - Pyunik
David Manoyan - Pyunik
Arthur Yedigaryan - PAS Hamedan, Iran
Edgar Malakyan - Pyunik
Levon Pachajyan - Sanat Petroleum, Iran

Strikers
Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine
Marcos Piñeiro Pizzelli - Pyunik
Edgar Manucharyan - Pyunik
Yura Movsisyan - Randers, Denmark
Hovhannes Goharyan - Pyunik

The game starts at 20.00 CET at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje. MTV will broadcast the game live.

Highlights from the last game between Macedonia and Armenia in Skopje:
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd1VD86ghJc 400 300]

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