I have been a fan of the Faroe Islands national football team for over three years now and obviously it comes as no surprise that I was waiting to see how the Faroes would perform in UEFA Nations League.
Everything started off well in Group 3 of League D when the Faroe Islands defeated Malta 3-1 in Torshavn.
Going into the next match, away from home against Kosovo, I felt that there was a good chance for the Faroes to leave Pristina with a positive result.
But once I started watching the match on a live stream, I quickly realized that I was being more optimistic than realistic.
Lack of Offense
The match was scoreless at halftime and it was clear that Lars Olsen’s men were parking the bus in hopes of leaving with a point.
Kosovo was the dominant team throughout the match on the way to winning 2-0.
But the stat that got me alarmed was that the Faroe Islands only had one shot on target the entire match.
I still think the Faroes have a chance to win this group, but it will not happen if they have road games where they are unable to score.
Problems on Defense
It would be unfair to criticize the Faroese defenders for the first goal from Kosovo that was scored by Arber Zeneli.
After all, Zeneli hardly had any space but he was still able to curl the ball magnificently through a tight window that evaded keeper Gunnar Nielsen.
As for the second goal from Kosovo, I was unhappy with the lack of effort from captain and center-back Atli Gregersen because he hardly showed any reaction or sense of urgency after a fine save was made by keeper Nielsen.
A quicker reaction from Gregersen after the rebound could have denied a second goal.
Next up for the Faroe Islands is a home match against Azerbaijan on 11 October.
The Azeris struggled in their first two matches with a scoreless draw against Kosovo in Baku and a frustrating 1-1 draw with Malta on the road.
A key change that needs to take place against Azerbaijan involves the right side of the defense.
During the match against Kosovo it was evident that right-back Gunnar Vatnhamar struggled, and it comes as no surprise considering he is listed as a midfielder and had been capped three times previously for the Faroe Islands.
Left-back Rogvi Baldvinsson came on as a second half substitute against Kosovo. For the upcoming match it would be beneficial for Baldvinsson to start on the left side against Azerbaijan and start Viljormur Davidsen as the right-back.
Baldvinsson has plenty of experience playing professionally for Bryne FK in Norway and Davidsen currently plies his trade in the Danish Superliga with Vejle.
Lars Olsen has been brilliant as manager of the Faroe Islands. But in big matches, he needs to put his best players on the pitch.
This is another match where it will be hard to predict the winner, but the Faroes will be able to get shots on target at home and Azerbaijan has hardly impressed anyone thus far.
Prediction: Faroe Islands 2-1 Azerbaijan
Article written by: Art Eftekhari
Published on: Nationsleaguefootball.wordpress.com