By Ian S Palmer
Belgium can more or less sew up at least a top-three finish in Group B of Euro 2016 qualifying on Sunday, September 6 if they can manage to take all three points home with them from their visit to Cyprus. On the other side of the coin, Cyprus can keep their hopes alive with a win over the visitors. Belgium is coming off of a 3-1 victory at home over Bosnia on Thursday while Cyprus dropped three crucial points at home as they were beaten 1-0 on a late goal by Gareth Bale of Wales.
Cyprus vs Belgium Soccer Betting Preview
- Pinnacle lists Belgium as the current favorites at -292 with Cyprus +1000 and a draw at +334
HEAD TO HEAD:
- The first time these sides met in Group B qualifying in March, Belgium drilled Cyprus by a score of 5-0. The countries have faced off against each other eight times in the past with Belgium winning seven of them and drawing the other and they’ve won three and drawn in Cyprus. The only time Cyprus managed to take a point from the Belgian squad was with a 1-1 draw in Nicosia back in November of 1995 in a qualifying match for the 1996 European Championship tournament. Cyprus has met Belgium three times in Euro competition and has scored just one goal. The Cypriots are pretty dismal at home as they’ve managed just one victory in their past seven World Cup and Euro qualifiers. They’ve lost four and drawn two in that span. Belgium has lost just twice on the road in qualifying games since Germany beat them 3-1 in 2011.
The current Group B leaders are Wales with 17 points. Belgium is next with 14 points from four wins, a pair of draws and a defeat. They’ve scored 16 goals and allowed three against. Third spot is occupied by Israel with 12 points and Cyprus sit in fourth position. The Cypriots have a trio of wins to go along with their four losses. They’ve been in some exciting and high-scoring games though as they’ve scored 13 times and have also conceded 13. Bosnia and Herzegovina is right behind Cyprus with eight points and sixth and final place in the group belongs to Andorra with no points.
Belgium fell behind Bosnia early in Brussels on Thursday when striker Edin Dzeko headed the visitors into the lead in the 15th minute. However, Manchester United midfielder Marouane leveled things up just eight minutes later. Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City then put Belgium out in front just before the halftime whistle blew. The Belgians scored an insurance marker in the 78th minute when Eden Hazard of Chelsea converted a penalty shot. Belgian had 63 per cent of ball possession and outshot the Bosnians 16-8.
Belgium also need as many points as they can get since they’re three behind Wales and just two up on Israel. And with nine points still up for grabs for each team anything can still happen between now and October, when the qualifying campaign wraps up.
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