Belarus vs Bulgaria Prediction, Preview, H2H and World Cup Betting Tips 09.06.2017
After quite a surprising victory over the Netherlands in March Bulgaria heads towards Belarus for another Group A fixture part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Current situation opens a fine chance to guests Bulgaria who can climb to the second position under certain circumstances. This might happen if they defeat hosts Belarus at the “Borisov Arena” in city of Borisov, while at the same time France should not lose in Sweden.
H2H Stats: Belarus vs Bulgaria
Belarus are one of the relatively passable opponents for the Bulgarians, who already reached a narrow success when both sides met in Sofia earlier during the qualifiers. That happened in mid-November at the “National Stadium Vasil Levski” where Ivelin Popov scored an early goal for Bulgaria, which was a vital source of points for the Bulgarians after two consecutive heavy defeats.
Overall H2H balance between Belarus and Bulgaria is completely backing the Bulgarians, who have won five out of six previous matches. This includes three competitive and two friendlies, while the only win of Belarus came from a friendly match played at Belarusian turf in August 2011. The goal difference is absolutely in Bulgarian favour – 11:4.
FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Belarus vs Bulgaria 09.06.2017
“The Lions” are keen of showing teeth by accomplishing their first meaningful streak and winning three successive competitive matches since more than 15 years. Last time that happened was in Bulgaria’s last ever successful qualifying cycle for the UEFA Euro 2004 finals, when Bulgaria won over Belgium, Croatia and Andorra. Thus the squad led by Plamen Markov qualified to the European Championship in Portugal and that’s the only major achievement for Bulgarian national team in the 21st century, although their performance at the finals was a disaster.
Now, after two wins in a row and keeping a clean sheet in both occasions, Petar Hubchev’s men will try to benefit by their gained momentum.
After five qualifying matches Belarus remains fifth with only two points, leaving “The White Wings” on only a point over Luxembourg. However, one of the two points won by the Belarusians came in opening round with a goalless home draw against France, which is the only slip for the strong French side so far. Unfortunately, Belarus won only a point out from following four games and that was a devastating home draw vs Luxembourg, when guests had to play with 10 men in whole second-half.
The other results were losses but all of them were abroad. Starting with an already mentioned 1-0 to Bulgaria, 4-1 in the Netherlands and most recent one is a 4-0 loss in Sweden.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Petar Hubchev plans to name same squad and formation used against the Netherlands, however minor changes are likely. One of them is on top of the 4-2-3-1 formation where Spas Delev (who scored both goals vs Holland) may be moved on the wing, so the central forward Andrey Galabinov can lead Bulgaria’s attack. His physics are more suitable to that game and presence of a physically strong striker would be more appropriate against team like Belarus. So Delev, who relies on his good pace and stamina, will be more useful on the wing. If that move happens someone between Aleksandar Tonev or Stanislav Manolev could sit on the bench.
Captain Svetoslav Dyakov also returns in contention so he can start alongside either Simeon Slavchev or Georgi Kostadinov, who both formed a central midfield duo vs the Netherlands. Latter seems to be a favourite to feature from the outset and moreover, Kostadinov will be followed by some managers, since his contract with Levski Sofia expires.
On other hand we have a weakened Belarus side with some key names missing. Igor Kriushenko, who has been appointed as a head coach in March, will obviously use the World Cup qualifiers as a way to integrate some new players within the squad.
Experienced players like Aleksandr Martynovich, Igor Shitov, Maksim Bardachow, Sergey Kislyak, Renan Bressan, Alexander Hleb, Timofei Kalachev, Sergey Krivets, Vitali Rodionov and Sergei Kornilenko are all left out due to different reasons. This leaves Kriushenko with a squad filled mostly by domestic league players and few other exceptions. Only Egor Filipenko (49) and Stanislav Dragun (41) are both players having more than 40 international caps among current call ups.
Belarus vs Bulgaria Prediction and Betting Tips
Belarus lost a friendly to Switzerland (1-0) last week and once more it has been pretty obvious that Belarusian team has huge attacking difficulties. Fact that Belarus couldn’t score in any of their last four fixtures is an evidence that the team is rather defensive minded.
Normally that would be an issue for a side that needs a mandatory win and in that case Belarus can be a tough challenge. Nevertheless, even if Bulgaria wins and eventually takes the second position for a while, this won’t make them favourites for maintaining it. There aren’t any special expectations that might be a burden, which somehow reduces the pressure and Bulgarians can play without carrying additional weight on their shoulder.
Petar Hubchev is certainly a coach who is not famous for his attacking mentality, not at all. This can be a plus in that game and as much as we know Hubchev, he will be pleased for not losing it. This can be either a huge failure or an extremely tricky challenge to the toothless Belarusian attack, at least in our opinion.
The betting odds on Bulgaria are higher and we simply can’t find a reason why Belarus should be considered as a favourite here. Even if they play at home. We have two sides which are far from being described as strong teams, making the game pretty balanced. Thereby we’d recommend placing a bet on Bulgaria by using the Asian Handicap 0 (Draw No Bet), which refunds your stake if the reviewed 2018 World Cup qualifier ends with no winner.
Venue: “Borisov Arena”, Borisov.
Referee: Matej Jug from Slovenia.
Possible Lineups of Belarus and Bulgaria
Belarus: Andrey Garbunov – Aleksandr Sachivko, Egor Filipenko, Mikhail Sivakov, Sergey Politevich, Sergey Matvejchik – Mikhail Gordejchuk, Ivan Maevskiy, Stanislav Dragun, Sergey Balanovich – Denis Laptev. (5-4-1)
Bulgaria: Nikolay Mihaylov – Strahil Popov, Bozhidar Chorbadzhiyski, Vasil Bozhikov, Petar Zanev – Svetoslav Dyakov, Georgi Kostadinov – Aleksandar Tonev, Ivelin Popov, Spas Delev – Andrey Galabinov. (4-2-3-1)