Azerbaijan vs Kosovo
UEFA Nations League
Date: Friday, 7 September 2018
Kick-Off at 17:00 UK / 18:00 CET
Venue: Baki Olimpiya Stadionu, Baku.
Azerbaijan will be looking to kick off their UEFA Nations League campaign in a strong fashion on Friday afternoon when they host Kosovo in the inaugural match of the competition for the two sides.
The tournament itself represents a massive opportunity for such teams to at least get near a major tournament by winning their respective division.
These two sides feature the weakest 4th league and they’ll be looking to top the group with Faroe Island and Malta.
Azerbaijan will come into the game high on confidence after beating Latvia 1-3 on the road in their most recent friendly played in early-June this year.
The head coach Qurban Qurbanov will, however, be without his main star Afran Ismayilov in matches with Kosovo and Malta.
This is a massive blow for the hosts as Sumgayit’s (local team) midfielder bagged three of their ten goals in the previous WC Qualification campaign.
All eyes will thus be on Dimitrij Nazarov (Erzgebirge Aue) and Rauf Aliyev (Gabala) who have combined the tally of 13 goals together in the national team.
Azerbaijan vs Kosovo: Head-to-head
This will only be the first ever head to head encounter between the two teams.
Azerbaijan vs Kosovo: Prediction
Kosovo feature their maiden qualifying campaign ahead of the World Cup in Russia. In spite of picking up a point away at Finland on their official debut, they went on to lose all of nine following ties to finish deep at the rock bottom of the group standings.
They scored just three goals in the process. However, we have to mention the team looks much better ever since the Swiss manager Bernard Challandes took charge in March this year.
Kosovo won all of three friendly games under Challandes without conceding a single goal along the way. Whilst Madagascar and Burkina Faso were not adequate parameter, the impressive 3-0 victory over Albania in late-May clearly showed the Kosovars have strength to challenge the likes of Azerbaijan, Malta and Faroe Islands in this UEFA Nations League group.
The visitors bagged six goals in last three games and we’d not be surprised to see them on the scoreline against Azerbaijan who shipped four in last two tests with Kazakhstan and Latvia. You can back Kosovo to score at 1.66, while Challandes’ troops are 1.90 to leave the Azerbaijani capital undefeated on the occasion.
Azerbaijan vs Kosovo: Bet Tips
Azerbaijan clean sheet – NO @ 1.66
Kosovo or Draw Double Chance @ 1.90.