Azerbaijan vs Belgium Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Azerbaijan will hope their home advantage means something when they host Belgium, who are vying to top Group F with a win.

Azerbaijan, who face Belgium this weekend, are in a dire state in their Group F endeavours, sitting at the bottom of the pile with a single point to show for their efforts. After opening their qualifying campaign with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of current leaders Austria, Sweden took Gianni De Biasi’s side to the cleaners with a 5-0 triumph in Stockholm.

The Group F minnows did get a shot in the arm with a more productive encounter with fellow strugglers Estonia, with the game helping them earn their first points in Group F. Anton Kryvotsyuk’s second-half equaliser cancelled out Rauno Sappinen’s opener, but goal difference has kept De Biasi’s side bottom of the pile.

Azerbaijan will hope home comfort will mean something when they take on a flying Belgian side with lofty ambitions. A loss would all but end their hopes of qualifications, but a win for De Biasi’s charges would elevate their confidence and maintain hope of the improbable to possibly another matchday.

Domenico Tedesco has done a good job since replacing Roberto Martinez at the helm. He has since guided this Belgium side to two wins and a draw in their three Group F encounters but now has a chance to go on top of the pile with a superior goal difference.

With Austria not playing until next week, Belgium have a brilliant chance to go level on points with the Group F leaders. Tedesco’s side have also played a game fewer than the Austrians, which would put next week’s fixtures into perspective, as they can head into the next break as undisputed leaders.

In their three games, Belgium have drawn with Austria but registered 3-0 wins over Sweden and Estonia. Next week, they will play Estonia in the final match of this break, which could open the doors for cementing their place up top and taking a massive step towards qualifying for the European finals.

Team News & Tactics


Gianni De Biasi has no injury or suspension problems but will have to choose his strongest available lineup to face the threat of the Belgians. Around 18 of their players ply their trade in the Azerbaijan Premier League, except for Ukraine-born Kryvotsyuk, who plays for South Korean club Daejeon Citizen and Dinamo Zagreb forward Mahir Emreli.

Embed from Getty Images

Last match’s goalscorer Kryvotsyuk could start the games this time at centre-back, with Bahlul Mustafazada as his partner at the back. De Biasi started this qualifying campaign with a 4-2-3-1 but has since shifted to a 4-3-3 and will keep the latter as his preferred shape.

He will continue to deploy Hoccat Haqverdi and Elvin Cafarquliyev as full-backs as his preferred choices. Elvin Camalov will sit at the base in midfield, while Aleksey Isayev and Emin Mahmudov are on either side. The latter likes to play a more advanced role, which may happen depending on how much possession they can have during the clash.

Zagreb star Emreli will start on his preferred right-hand side of the front three, while Ramil Sheydayev will begin on the left-hand side. Hatayspor striker Renat Dadashov will lead the line for Azerbaijan, hoping to get a goal or so against the Belgians.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Mahammadaliyev; Haqverdi, Mustafazada, Kryvotsyuk, Cafarquiliyev; Isayev, Camalov, Mahmudov; Emreli, Dadashov, Sheydayev


Domenico Tedesco will have to do without key stars Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne for the foreseeable future. He will hope to have the Real Madrid keeper for the European finals next year, considering he’s out with a long-term ACL injury, but the Manchester City star will return around January.

As for his team setup, the manager might prefer to keep a shape with the back four as it provides more impetus for those playing in the attack. With Amadou Onana available for the team, the Everton man will assume his preferred holding midfield role with Youri Tielemans and Wolfsburg’s 20-year-old midfielder Aster Vranckx on either side.

There are a few more choices for Tedesco to ponder in the central areas, but the trio could do the trick. Rennes star Arthur Theate could continue to play as a left-back for his country, as captain and veteran star Jan Vertonghen will assume a central role.

He will have Wout Faes or company, and Timothy Castagne will finish their defensive setup. Romelu Lukaku, who has six goals from the last three qualifying games, will certainly lead the line for the Red Devils. Meanwhile, new Manchester City winger Jeremy Doku will keep his place on the right, while Leandro Trossard will complete the front three from the left.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Matz Sels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Vranckx, Onana, Tielemans; Doku, Lukaku, Trossard

Key Stats

  • Azerbaijan have yet to win in their qualifying campaign so far.
  • Azerbaijan have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five games.
  • Belgian remain unbeaten in Group F after three rounds of games.
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored six goals in three games during the Euro 2024 qualifying rounds.
  • The two sides last met 12 years ago, with the game ending with a 1-1 scoreline.

Player to Watch

Romelu Lukaku

It is a close call between Lukaku and Trossard, with both players needing minutes under their belt to start their seasons properly. The Red Devils frontman ended another summer filled with speculation after sealing a loan move to AS Roma but may suffer from a lack of match sharpness.

Hence, he must convince Tedesco to start him in both the qualifying games during this round to gain match fitness and continue his impressive scoring record for the national side. Against Azerbaijan and Estonia next week, Lukaku will have the golden chance to keep adding to his six goals in the last three qualifying games and lead the way for Belgium in Group F.


Azerbaijan 0-4 Belgium

On paper, there is one clear winner, and that might remain the case when the two sides meet in their Group F clash. For Azerbaijan, the task will have to focus on getting a positive result, but against the might of Belgium, that may prove impossible.

On the other hand, Belgium will want to finish the weekend on a high note and top of Group F, as a hefty win would do the trick. The Red Devils are overwhelming favourites to score many goals against their opponent and take the three points.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.