Friday, October 20, 2017

Prediction: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs Belgium

Dan Steeden in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 5 Oct 2017

3,242 Views

Verdict: Over 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmakers: Bet 365

Belgium have already guaranteed themselves qualification for the 2018 World Cup, as well as securing the top spot in Group H with two games to go. This makes the trip to Sarajevo somewhat meaningless for the away side, but Bosnia find themselves second in the group and need a result from this game in order to keep that spot. This should be a very interesting match.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Mehmed Bazdarevic’s side could have been going into this game with a four-point cushion over third place Greece but for a stunning comeback by Cyprus to win 3-2 in the Dragons’ last game. However Bosnia now go into this game knowing that they need a win if they want to be in with a good chance of qualification.

The good news for Bosnian fans is that their side is unbeaten at home and are yet to concede a goal in Sarajevo throughout qualifying. The bad news is that Belgium are the top scoring team with 35 goals in their qualifying campaign, and boast one of the world’s top in-form strikers in Romelu Lukaku. The home side will be hoping that the Belgians take their feet off the gas in this game, given that they have already topped the group, and that their fans can give them they boost they need to grind out a result in this game.

Team News

One of the Dragons’ top players Miralem Pjanic will miss out due to injury, which is a definite blow for the home side as the midfielder is the chief provider for the likes of Edin Dzeko up front.

Belgium

Under FA Cup-winning manager Roberto Martinez Belgium have looked devastating, scoring 35 goals in qualifying through eight games. Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has 10 of those goals, which is double as many as anybody else in the group. The Red Devils have already secured top spot in Group H and this game will hinge on how seriously the away side take it. Belgium blew Bosnia away at home, winning 4-0 in a destructive performance, with three Premier League players getting on the scoresheet.

With Bosnia having everything to play for and Belgium having already topped the group it remains to be seen how the Red Devils play this one. The way I see it this game will give their star-studded line-up a chance to express itself with no consequences, and as a team that has already been free-scoring throughout qualifying this could be a game that features a lot of goals.

Team News

Roma’s bruising central midfielder, and frequent scorer of wonder goals, Radja Nainggolan will miss this game through injury. Eden Hazard has fully recovered from his ankle injury however and looks set to start alongside Romelu Lukaku.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The last game between the two sides ended 4-0 to Belgium.
  • Belgium are the top scoring team in qualifying with 35 goals.
  • Romelu Lukaku is the top scorer in Group H with 10 goals.
  • An average of 3.42 goals per match have been scored so far in Group H.
  • Bosnia have scored 19 goals in eight games in Group H.

Conclusion

Belgium will only take confidence and enjoyment out of the fact that they have already topped the group, and with Bosnia needing a result this should be quite an open game. I expect a lot of goals in this one and clean sheets for either team are looking fairly unlikely.

Verdict: Over 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmakers: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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