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Azerbaijan vs Belgium Preview, Tips & Stats

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            Azerbaijan vs Belgium Preview, Tips & Stats

            Belgium travel to the Dalga Arena to face Azerbaijan in match day five of the UEFA Euro Qualifiers. With both teams having played three games so far, Belgium are pushing to uproot Austria at the top of the group whereas Azerbaijan look to pick up some more points and chase down those above them.

            Azerbaijan sit rock bottom of Group F after three games. With zero wins, one draw and two losses Azerbaijan have just one point. This leaves them joint on one point with Estonia but two points adrift of Sweden and six points away from Belgium in the last qualification spot. Azerbaijan also have by far the worst goal difference of the group having conceded ten goals already.

            The first game of Azerbaijan’s qualifying campaign was an away trip to Austria. Emin Mahmudov did manage to score for Azerbaijan, but it wasn’t enough as Marcel Sabitzer grabbed a brace as well as Michael Gregoritsch and Christoph Baumgartner all scored to win 4 - 1. The next trip was to Sweden where it was a similarly miserable affair for Azerbaijan. Emil Forsberg opened the scoring followed by an own goal by Bahlul Mastafazada and goals from Viktor Gyokeres, Jesper Karlsson and Anthony Elanga for a dominant 5 - 0 win for Sweden.

            The last action for Azerbaijan was a home tie against Estonia. Azerbaijan had the majority of the possession with 62% and 11 shots with three on target. However, they went behind early on with a goal from Rauno Sappinen for Estonia. Anton Kryvotsyuk responded for Azerbaijan in the second half as the game finished 1 - 1 for Azerbaijan’s first point.

            Belgium sit second in Group F with seven points from the possible nine points. In three games The Red Devils have two wins and one draw and find themselves three points adrift from Austria. However, Austria have played one more game than Belgium, so The Red Devils could leapfrog them to top spot.

            The Red Devils started their campaign away to Sweden. Romelu Lukaku was a force to be reckoned with as he scored a hattrick in the 3 - 0 thrashing of Sweden. Next was a visit from Austria where Lukaku was on the scoresheet again. However, this time the goal was an equaliser to give Belgium the 1 - 1 draw. Belgium’s last time out in the Qualifiers was a trip to Estonia. Lukaku grabbed a brace as well as a goal from Johan Bakayoko as The Red Devils stormed to a 3 - 0 win that saw Belgium with 67% of the possession.

            Amidst the Qualifiers, Belgium faced Germany in an international friendly. Yannick Carrasco, Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne all scored in the 3 - 2 win for The Red Devils.

            Azerbaijan and Belgium have met just four times in their histories with the first meeting coming somewhat recently in 2006. Belgium have never lost to Azerbaijan, having won on three occasions and having drawn once in their last meeting in 2011.

            Azerbaijan Team News

            Head coach Gianni De Biasi has switched between a 4 - 3 - 3 formation and a 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 formation. Renat Dadashov is likely to retain the starting striker position, supported by Mahir Emreli and Ramil Sheydayev on the wings. Bahlul Mustafazada and Badavi Guseynov will also likely remain as De Biasi’s preferred centre back pairing.

            Belgium Team News

            Domenico Tedesco is a relatively new face as head coach of Belgium after Roberto Martinez resigned. Tedesco is also without long-time talisman Eden Hazard as he retired last international break and Manchester City’s De Bruyne as the midfielder nurses an injury he picked up in the first game of the season.