Europe (UEFA)

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

sportsmole.co.uk, 23 September 2022, 11:00
Kazakhstan head into their UEFA Nations League fixture with Azerbaijan on Sunday evening having already secured promotion to the second tier for the first time in their history.

While qualification is out of Azerbaijan's reach, the home side will be motivated to try to earn the win which would see them secure second position in Group C4.

Match preview

Kazakhstan started the latest UEFA Nations League campaign with hope rather than expectation with Slovakia part of their group.

However, Magomed Adiyev's side have been excellent throughout, collecting 13 points from five games to secure promotion to League B with a match to spare.

Two narrow wins over the group favourites have ultimately made the difference, but it set up the Hawks to get over the line against bottom-placed Belarus on Thursday.

Although Kazakhstan did not have it all their own way, being pegged back by half time, Bakhtiyar Zaynutdinov's late goal secured a 2-1 success in Astana.

Kazakhstan can now head into this fixture with no pressure on their shoulders, although the desire to extend their unbeaten streak to six games will provide some motivation.

From Azerbaijan's perspective, they are not in a position where they are able to catch the visitors, but they will already be content with their own campaign.

Last time out, Gianni De Biasi's side collected six points from as many fixtures, something which they have bettered with seven points from one game fewer.

Their second win in succession on Thursday also represented their most notable for many years, Azerbaijan netting a last-gasp winner to win 2-1 in Slovakia.

Renat Dadashov, formerly contracted to Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Hojjat Haghverdi each netted their first international goals to seal a memorable triumph in Trnava.

Azerbaijan Nations League form:

L

D

L

W

W

Azerbaijan form (all competitions):

L

L

D

L

W

W

Kazakhstan Nations League form:

W

W

D

W

W

Kazakhstan form (all competitions):

W

W

W

D

W

W

Team News

Azerbaijan will have to make do without Richard Almeyda after he collected his second yellow card of the competition against Slovakia.

Aleksey Isayev could get the nod in his place, but that could prove to be the only change if De Biasi insists on naming a full-strength side.

Kazakhstan have two suspension issues of their own with Askhat Tagybergen and Zaynutdinov both missing out on Sunday.

Islambek Kuat and Elkhan Astanov appear most likely to come into the team, with further changes possible if Adiyev wishes to take a look at other players.

Azerbaijan possible starting lineup:

Mahammadaliyev; Hagverdi, Mustafazadeh, Huseynov, Jafarguiliyev; Isayev, Israfilov; Kokcu, Mahmudov, Sheydayev; Dadashov

Kazakhstan possible starting lineup:

Shatskiy; Maliy, Marochkin, Alip; Gabyshev, Darabayev, Kuat, Vorogovskiy; Orazov, Astanov; Aymbetov

We say: Azerbaijan 1-1 Kazakhstan

With the stakes having lowered for Kazakhstan, they may not perform with the same kind of intensity. With that in mind, we can only predict a low-scoring draw between two teams who have secured results above their expectations during this campaign.

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