Euro 2016 Qualifying (Group stage) Match Preview: Azerbaijan vs. Bulgaria

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Updated: September 3, 2014
Bulgaria Euro

Match Date: 09 September 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Bakcell Arena, Baku

(Featured image: Bulgaria | Source: Zimbio)

 

Azerbaijan and Bulgaria have only met once before, in a 2004 friendly that rendered both sides goalless. Their recent forms suggest almost equal power levels, and inconsistency is a dilemma for both of them.

 

Azerbaijan

In the qualifications leading up to the Euro 2012, Azerbaijan obtained seven points from 10 fixtures—a new record for the squad although it did not help them earn seeding to the tournament finals. The streak was accentuated by a marvelous clean sheet victory versus Turkey. Milli also claimed a 1-1 draw with Belgium and defeated Kazakhstan 3-2. However, they failed to pick up a point on any of their away matches. In their campaign for the World Cup 2014, Azerbaijan finished fourth in the qualifying round, behind Israel, Portugal, and group winners Russia. They have yet to make an appearance in the competition’s main event.

 

Bulgaria

Bulgaria have already participated in two Euro championships before, their first in 1996 and their second in 2004. On both occasions, they only finished in the group stage. In their debut appearance, the side placed 11th overall, having scored one win, one draw, and one defeat. In the qualifications prior to that event, they won their first six matches, a sequence that included a 3-2 home victory against Germany. In the 2008 and 2012 editions of Euro championships, they were unable to advance through the final stages as they only finished third and fifth (last) in the qualifying rounds, respectively. At the World Cup, however, they are quite more accomplished. They were fourth placers in 1994 and reached the Round of 16 eight years prior.

 

Football betting tip: Bulgaria will beat Azerbaijan in a clean sheet.