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Prediction: Belgium vs Bosnia

SoccerPredictions in Free Soccer Predictions 6 Oct 2016

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Together with Greece, the two sides will be vying for the automatic qualifying berth, meaning that we could see a nervy affair at Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels. Both teams are looking to extend the winning run with Belgium having beaten Cyprus on the road (3-0) and Bosnia hammering Estonia at home (5-0).

Belgium

Despite all the potential they’ve shown in friendly matches and qualifying fixtures, Belgium have yet to mount a serious title challenge at a major international competition, and that is the reason why Roberto Martinez was brought to replace Marc Wilmots. The Spaniard was definitely not everyone’s first choice having failed to impress at Everton, but it is still too early to be judging his work. Belgium suffered a 2-0 defeat to Spain in his first game in charge, but they did well to win their first competitive fixture, producing an inspired performance to defeat Cyprus on the road. The Red Devils now have an opportunity to cement the first place in the standings by defeating Bosnia-Herzegovina, but, once again, they are missing some important members of the squad. Vincent Kompany’s absence is no longer news, as the captain has endured a real injury nightmare of late, but the fact that star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is unavailable could create problems. In all fairness, Martinez has several very good options to replace the Manchester City hotshot, with one of Thorgan Hazard, Dries Mertens, Nacer Chadli and Kevin Mirallas expected to take his place.

Team News

Kevin De Bruyne, Moussa Dembele, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Bjorn Engels are all sidelined through injury.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels and Anderlecht starlet Youri Tielemans hope to be handed their debuts, just like Watford’s Christian Kabasele.

Bosnia

Bosnia-Herzegovina faced Belgium in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, losing in Brussels and sharing spoils with the Red Devils at home, ultimately finishing the campaign in third place. However, the Dragons ended up losing to Republic of Ireland in the play-offs and thus failed to book their ticket to France. Nevertheless, Mehmed Bazdarevic remained at the helm and he will attempt to take his side to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That will be no easy task considering that star-studded Belgium and improving Greece harbour identical ambitions, but at least the Dragons enjoyed a bright start to the new campaign, hammering Estonia 5-0 in their opening fixture, with centre-back Emir Spahic netting a brace and Edin Dzeko, Haris Medunjanin and Vedad Ibisevic also getting on the scoresheet. Following several wins in a row, Bosnia head to Brussels in very good spirits, hoping they will fare better than the last time they visited Stade Roi Baudouin. The good news is that most key men are available, with star striker Edin Dzeko seriously raising his form when compared to the previous season. The visitors are expected to line up in a 4-4-2 formation and their positive approach should help make this a very entertaining game.

Team News

Mensur Mujdza, Haris Duljevic, Armin Hodzic, Muhamed Besic, Sejad Salihovic and Ermin Zec have all been left out of the squad.

There have been no reported problems with injuries in the Bosnia-Herzegovina camp, meaning that coach Mehmed Bazdarevic will field his strongest side.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Belgium recorded a 3-1 win last time they faced Bosnia at home
  • Both teams scored in each of their last four meetings
  • Four or more goals were scored each time Belgium played host to Bosnia
  • The Red Devils are unbeaten in last 6 WC qualifiers on home soil (W4 D2)
  • Bosnia won 7 of last 9 away matches in WC qualifiers (D1 L1)

Conclusion

Belgium are spoilt for options up front despite the absence of Kevin De Bruyne and they are widely expected to attack from the off, while Bosnia should adopt a positive approach as well. There were plenty of goals scored each time the two sides faced each other in recent years and we fully expect the trend to continue.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

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