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Belgium national football team
Euro Champ Qualifying | Group Stage
Nov 19, 2023 at 5pm UK
Stade Roi Baudouin
Azerbaijan national football team
Belgium
5 - 0
Azerbaijan
Lukaku (17', 26', 30', 37'), Trossard (90')
Theate (22'), Vranckx (45')
FT(HT: 4-0)

Silvestre (20'), Mahammadaliyev (86')
Silvestre (24')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Euro Champ Qualifying clash between Belgium and Azerbaijan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Having already qualified for next summer's Euro 2024 finals, Belgium can afford to experiment in Sunday's final Group F fixture, as they host Azerbaijan at King Baudouin Stadium.

The Red Devils also enjoyed a friendly win earlier this week; meanwhile, Azerbaijan shocked Sweden in Baku but are already out of contention.


Match preview

General view of Belgium and Sweden observing a minutes silence before the match on October 16, 2023© Reuters

Returning to action for the first time since an abandoned game against Sweden in October, Group F leaders Belgium hosted Serbia on Wednesday evening, as both teams built up to their final qualifier for Germany 2024.

Yannick Carrasco struck in the second minute for a much-changed home side, and the visitors ultimately could not provide a response, thereby extending the Belgians' unbeaten streak to nine matches in all competitions.

The Red Devils' penultimate qualifying fixture had previously been brought to an end at half time following the tragic shooting of two people in Brussels, where they were drawing 1-1 with Sweden, who have been left far behind in the race for a top-two place.

Although both nations were later awarded one point, Domenico Tedesco's team had already done enough to book their place in a third straight European Championship finals, having posted five wins and a draw from their first six games.

After recording a home victory in midweek, Belgium now host Azerbaijan to wrap up their qualifying campaign, having won 1-0 in last month's reverse fixture, when Carrasco was again the sole goalscorer.

Focus will then turn towards the upcoming Euros, and finally ending a trophy drought that even the lauded 'golden generation' could not conclude, despite several near misses.

Azerbaijan coach Gianni De Biasi before the match on October 16, 2023© Reuters

While Belgium are bound for neighbouring Germany next summer, Azerbaijan will again be absent from the main stage, having started dismally in qualifying.

However, the latter stages of their Group F campaign have seen a welcome upturn in fortunes; most notably when the former Soviet state welcomed Sweden to Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium on Thursday, aiming to end a nine-game streak without a home win in European qualifiers.

Both nations had already been eliminated, with Austria joining Belgium in the top two, but Gianni De Biasi's men struck twice early on - through Emin Mahmudov and Renat Dadashov - and held on to their lead until being reduced to 10 men in the 57th minute.

Far from being deterred by such a setback, they kept their visitors out for another half-hour before Mahmudov finished things off late on, putting the gloss on a memorable 3-0 win over one of Europe's football establishment.

Azerbaijan had previously bounced back from defeat to Belgium by posting a 2-1 friendly victory over Jordan, then beating basement side Estonia for their first success in Group F. Then, after narrowly missing out on a point against Austria last month, the best was yet to come.

Belgium Euro Champ Qualifying form:


Belgium form (all competitions):


Azerbaijan Euro Champ Qualifying form:


Azerbaijan form (all competitions):



Team News

Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco reacts on October 13, 2023© Reuters

Having rested star striker Romelu Lukaku for Wednesday's friendly, Belgium boss Domenico Tedesco is expected to recall a man who leads the Red Devils' all-time scoring charts with 79 goals, including 23 from 33 matches in European Championship qualifying.

Another mainstay, Kevin De Bruyne, remains out of action through injury, as does Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, while Atalanta's Charles De Ketelaere is also unavailable this week.

England-based trio Jeremy Doku, Leandro Trossard and Timothy Castagne could all be promoted from the bench, to feature in the hosts' favoured 4-3-3 formation; teenage defender Jorne Spileers will hope for some minutes after being handed his first senior call-up.

Gianni De Biasi - whose future will be decided in a meeting to be held shortly after Sunday's Group F finale - is likely to name a similar XI to that which started Azerbaijan's superb win over Sweden earlier this week.

However, centre-back Bahlul Mustafazada must serve a suspension following his dismissal in Baku, so Iran-born Hojjat Haghverdi should deputise at the heart of the visitors' defence.

Following their heroics on Thursday evening, Hatayspor striker Renat Dadashov and captain Emin Mahmudov will once again lead the Azeri attack.


Belgium possible starting lineup:
Sels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Tielemans, Mangala, Carrasco; Doku, Lukaku, Trossard

Azerbaijan possible starting lineup:
Mehemmedeliyev; Mammadov, Kryvotsiuk, Haghverdi, Cafarguliyev; Bayramov, Diniyev, Isayev, Sheydayev; Mahmudov; Dadashov


SM words green background

We say: Belgium 2-0 Azerbaijan

Competition for places - both in Belgium's Euro 2024 squad and their starting XI - should ensure the home side still aim to impress, despite already wrapping up qualification. Replicating an historic achievement just three days after seeing off Sweden will be too much to ask for Azerbaijan, who are set to suffer their fifth defeat from eight Group F games.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a draw 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.Draw:data


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Game History

How you voted: Belgium vs Azerbaijan

Belgium
79.1%
Draw
9.3%
Azerbaijan
11.6%
43
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Hungary's Roland Sallai celebrates scoring their second goal with Dominik Szoboszlai on October 14, 2023
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Spain Spain870121
Q Scotland flag Scotland852117
3 Norway Norway832311
4 Georgia Georgia82248
5 Cyprus Cyprus80080

Group B

TeamPWDLPTS
Q France France871022
Q Netherlands Netherlands860218
3 Greece Greece841313
4 Ireland Rep. Ireland82066
5 Gibraltar flag Gibraltar80080

Group C

TeamPWDLPTS
Q England flag England862020
Q Italy Italy842214
3 Ukraine Ukraine842214
4 Macedonia N. Macedonia82248
5 Malta flag Malta80080

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Turkey Turkey852117
Q Croatia Croatia851216
3 Wales flag Wales833212
4 Armenia Armenia82248
5 Latvia Latvia81073

Group E

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Albania national flag Albania843115
Q Czech Republic Czech Republic843115
3 Poland Poland832311
4 Republic of Moldova Moldova824210
5 Faroe Islands Faroe Islands80262

Group F

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Belgium Belgium862020
Q Austria Austria861119
3 Sweden Sweden831410
4 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan82157
5 Estonia Estonia80171

Group G

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Hungary Hungary853018
Q Serbia Serbia842214
3 Montenegro Montenegro832311
4 Lithuania Lithuania81346
5 Bulgaria Bulgaria80444

Group H

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Denmark Denmark1071222
Q Slovenia Slovenia1071222
3 Finland Finland1060418
4 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan1060418
5 Northern Ireland flag N. Ireland103079
6 San Marino flag San Marino1000100

Group I

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Romania Romania1064022
Q Switzerland Switzerland1045117
3 Israel Israel1043315
4 Belarus Belarus1033412
5 Kosovo flag Kosovo1025311
6 Andorra flag Andorra100282

Group J

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Portugal Portugal10100030
Q Slovakia Slovakia1071222
3 Luxembourg flag Luxembourg1052317
4 Iceland Iceland1031610
5 Bosnia Bosnia H'vina103079
6 Liechtenstein flag Liechtenstein1000100

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