MX23RW : Saturday, January 22 16:56:50| >> :600:3187004:3187004:
Nov 11, 2021 at 5pm UK
AzerbaijanAzerbaijan
1-3
LuxembourgLuxembourg
Salahli (83')
Madatov (44'), Salahli (45+1'), Mahmudov (90'), Medvedev (90+5')
Mutallimov (21')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Rodrigues (67', 90+1'), Thill (78')
Carlson (48')

Preview: Azerbaijan vs. Luxembourg - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Azerbaijan and Luxembourg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides with very little to play for lock horns in World Cup 2022 Qualifying Group A on Thursday night, as Azerbaijan play host to Luxembourg.

Both teams have already seen their fleeting hopes of qualification dashed and will simply want to bow out with their heads held high after doomed campaigns.


Match preview

Azerbaijan coach Gianni De Biasi during the match on March 27, 2021© Reuters

With only one point amassed from a possible 21 in World Cup 2022 Qualifying, the final whistle cannot blow soon enough for Giovanni De Biasi and Azerbaijan, whose September draw with Ireland represents the only minor positive that they can take from Group A.

The world's 119th-ranked nation were swept aside 3-0 by the Bhoys in Green last month, though, while group leaders Serbia also put three past them during their most recent game, even though Emin Mahmudov had levelled the scores just before the break.

Azerbaijan have already been consigned to a fifth-placed finish in Group A as they gear up for their final game of qualification, while 15 goals shipped and only four scored unsurprisingly represent the worst tallies in the group.

A 2-1 friendly victory over Belarus back in June represents Azerbaijan's only win in any tournament since the turn of the year, and not since September 2017 have the hosts won a World Cup Qualifying game home or away, with San Marino being humbled 5-1 that year.

Luxembourg coach Luc Holtz on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Luxembourg have fared slightly better than their upcoming hosts in Group A, but their attempts to qualify for a first-ever appearance at a World Cup Finals have also proven futile as they were taught a footballing lesson by Portugal last time out.

Cristiano Ronaldo's record-breaking 10th international hat-trick was complemented by strikes from Joao Palhinha and Bernardo Silva at the Estadio da Luz, and Luc Holtz's men are also just playing for pride this week before their final group game with Ireland on Sunday.

However, Luxembourg can achieve a respectable third-placed finish in the group should they hold off the threat of Ireland in the coming days, as Holtz's men boast a one-point lead over their counterparts after travelling back from Dublin with all three points back in March.

Victory over Ireland is Luxembourg's only win in their last 17 World Cup Qualifying games away from home, but they did get the better of Azerbaijan 2-1 in September thanks to first-half strikes from Mica Pinto and Gerson Rodrigues.

Azerbaijan World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Azerbaijan form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Luxembourg World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Luxembourg form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L



Team News

Azerbaijan's Ramil Sheydaev celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Azerbaijan will be forced into a defensive change with Hojjat Haghverdi suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards, so Mert Celik could be handed a start in De Biasi's back three.

Star striker Mahir Emreli missed the defeat to Serbia but ought to reclaim his rightful place at the tip of the attack here, where Ramil Sheydayev will also be holding out for a recall.

As for Luxembourg, Maurice Deville has been included despite reportedly suffering from muscular problems, but Troyes attacker Rodrigues was always likely to start on the left.

Creative hub Sebastien Thill has made quite the name for himself with Sheriff Tiraspol, finding the back of the net against Real Madrid and Inter Milan in the Champions League this term.

The 27-year-old should line up alongside his brother Olivier Thill once more, but fellow family member Vincent Thill is not in the squad after undergoing surgery.

Azerbaijan possible starting lineup:
Mahammadaliyev; Medvedev, Celik, Krivotsyuk; Huseynov, Mahmudov, Ozobic, Qarayev, Salahly; Emreli, Sheydayev

Luxembourg possible starting lineup:
Moris; Jans, Chanot, Carlson, Pinto; O. Thill, Pereira, Barreiro, Rodrigues; S. Thill; Sinani


SM words green background

We say: Azerbaijan 0-1 Luxembourg

Neither side will feel the need to bust a gut for an inconsequential three points here, and young players on both ends will hope to make the most of any potential opportunities granted to them.

The visitors boast that little bit more quality in attack with Sebastien Thill and Rodrigues, though, so we are backing Luxembourg to cement their third-placed spot with a narrow triumph.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data


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How you voted: Azerbaijan vs Luxembourg

Azerbaijan
25.4%
Draw
19.7%
Luxembourg
54.9%
122
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England's Tammy Abraham celebrates scoring their third goal against Andorra in World Cup 2022 Qualifying on October 9, 2021
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