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Stuart Dalgleish 4th Sep 2013 - 10:26

World Cup Opta Facts - Home Nations


Scotland v Belgium

  • Belgium have won seven of their previous 11 competitive meetings with Scotland (D2 L2), including a 2-0 win in Brussels back in October 2012.
  • In Scotland, however, Belgium have only won one of five competitive games (3-1 in 1979), losing two and drawing two.
  • Scotland have only lost one of their last nine home games (W5 D3; all competitions), though that was their most recent game on home soil (2-1 v Wales).
  • Belgium are unbeaten in six games (W5 D1) and have only lost one of their last 12 (W9 D2).
  • All of Belgium's last nine international goals have been scored by players who play in the Premier League; Dries Mertens (v Slovakia in February) was the last Belgian not based in England to score for this country.
  • No side has kept more clean sheets in European World Cup qualification than Belgium (five).



Republic of Ireland v Sweden

  • Ireland have never beaten Sweden in a competitive fixture (D2 L3).
  • Despite that, overall the Republic have won three and lost just one of five against Sweden on home soil, with that defeat coming way back in 1949).
  • Giovanni Trapattoni's side have kept three consecutive clean sheets against the Swedes in all competitions.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored five goals in his last two internationals for Sweden.
  • The Green Army have lost just one of their last eight internationals (W3 D4), and that was to World and European champions Spain.
  • Sweden have only won one of their last five away games in all competitions (D2 L2).



Northern Ireland v Portugal

  • Seven of the 12 previous international meetings between Northern Ireland and Portugal, including the 1-1 draw in Porto back in October 2012, have ended level.
  • In nine previous World Cup qualifiers between these sides, only 14 goals have been scored with only one game (Northern Ireland 3-0 Portugal in 1957) seeing over two goals.
  • Northern Ireland's 1-0 victory over Russia last time out ended a run of 13 games without a win and was boss Michael O'Neill's first victory at the helm.
  • Indeed, the Green and White Army have not won consecutive internationals since early 2009, when they beat San Marino, Poland and Slovenia in successive games.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored Portugal's only goal in each of their last two internationals.
  • Real Madrid winger Ronaldo has had more shots off target than any other player in European World Cup qualification (16).



England v Moldova

  • England have won all three previous meetings against Moldova, scoring 12 goals without reply.
  • Indeed, these three victories for the Three Lions have finished, in chronological order, 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0.
  • Only against Turkey (31) and Andorra (16) have England scored more goals without reply than they have against Moldova (12).
  • Excluding penalty shootouts, England are unbeaten in 18 competitive internationals (W 10 D8).
  • The Three Lions have lost just one of their last 29 competitive home games (W22 D6); a 2-3 to Croatia in 2007 involving an infamous umbrella.
  • Moldova have lost 13 of their last 16 away games (D1), with both victories in that run coming in San Marino.
  • Eugen Sidorenco has scored three goals in his last three international appearances.
  • Danny Welbeck has scored with six of his seven shots on target for England.
  • England have scored more deflected goals than any other side in European World Cup qualification (two).
  • Moldova have attempted 136 tackles in qualification for the 2014 World Cup so far, the most of all European sides.



Macedonia v Wales

  • This will be the first international meeting between Macedonia and Wales.
  • Gareth Bale has scored two-thirds of Wales' goals so far in this qualification period (four of six).
  • Wales' 0-0 draw with Republic of Ireland in their most recent fixture ended a remarkable run of 46 consecutive games without a draw.
  • Chris Coleman's side have won just two of their last eight home internationals (D1 L5).
  • Wales have been credited with more errors leading to goals than any other European side qualifying for the 2014 World Cup (five).
  • Macedonia have won six and lost just two of their last 10 internationals at home (all competitions).




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