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U19 side gets ready for qualifying tournament

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Macedonia U19 at a recent friendlyMacedonia U19 at a recent friendlyBeginning on Thursday, Macedonia U19 will host a qualifying tournament featuring England, Italy and Finland.

Over the next six days, Macedonia will host an U19 qualifying tournament. The U19 national teams in Group 4 include Macedonia, England, Italy and Finland. All four squads will be hoping to reach the elite round which requires a top-2 finish.

The group features two powerhouses in England and Italy, so they are the favorites on paper. However, Macedonia will be hoping to take advantage by playing at home. Each Macedonia game will take place at the FFM training center, while the other games not involving Macedonia will be played at "Boris Trajkovski' stadium.

The six teams will play each other once. Macedonia opens with England on October 8, then meets Italy on October 10 before closing with Finland on October 13. It would have been better to face Finland sooner, but the schedule can't be redone. Macedonia must avoid losses in at least one of the first two games to give itself a chance of advancing to the elite round.

U19 manager Goran Stanikj called up the following 18 players:

Filip Ilikj - Metalurg Macedonia
Bobi Celeski - Grosseto Italy

Slobodan Bocevski - Rabotnichki Macedonia
Shaip Tela - Neuchâtel Xamax II Switzerland
Sabahudin Alomerovikj - Gorno Lisiche Macedonia
Stefan Jevtoski - Metalurg Macedonia
Nehar Sadiki - Gorno Lisiche Macedonia
Stefan Lazarevikj - Makedonija GjP Macedonia

Sashe Shoposki - Metalurg Macedonia
Davor Zdravkovski - Makedonija GjP Macedonia
Kristijan Karanfilovski - Metalurg Macedonia
Matej Cvetanovski - Makedonija GjP Macedonia
Burim Abdulahi - Servette U19 Switzerland
Emil Abaz - Anderlecht U19 Belgium

Petar Petkovski - Vardar Macedonia
Remzifaik Selmani - Renova Macedonia
Valentin Kochoski - Turnovo Macedonia
Martin Hristov - Gorno Lisiche Macedonia

The leader and captain for Macedonia U19 is Petar Petkovski of Vardar. He is the main threat offensively, while the other key guys in attack are Valentin Kochoski and Emil Abaz. The defense, on the other hand, is the weak link. They must improve for Macedonia to have a chance at surprising England or Italy.

All games for Macedonia U19 should be live-streamed on ffm.mk. If you visit that site, there is a youtube link on the right hand side that should show the three games for Macedonia U19.

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