Friday, 9 June 2017

Belarus - Bulgaria

PICK: Bulgaria AH +0,25 @1,704 PINNACLE 1/10

In 6th round Borisov Arena will host the match between 5th placed Belarus and 3rd placed Bulgaria.

Belarus who's manager is on the thin ice and this match might be decisive for his future on the bench of national team, started qualifications with surprising draw against France, but that was the match where they probably used all the luck for the group stage. Their ultra defensive approach succeded but after that they failed against everyone. Even against Luxembourg at home against who they scored 10 minutes till the end, and they were in possession (67%), having much more chances in the match, having a player more on the pitch since 43th minute on, but 5 minutes after their goal, Luxembourg scored and match finished with 1-1. It looks that Kriusenko is aware that they won't be capable to prepare a surprise in the group, so he decided to "renew" the national team. He left out some important, experienced international players as: attackers Rodionov and Kornilenko, midfielders Bressan and Kislyak and defenders Martynovich, Bardachev, Sitov and Valadzko. Moreover, captain Hleb is out due to injury as well. There are many young players, without international experiences in the squad of Belarus, who are mainly coming from domestic league.

Bulgaria is in pretty same shape, as I've mentioned at the end of last year, they are without star players, but it looks that they've found the way with the manager Petar Hubchev. In their last match they've surprised everyone and won against Netherlands with 2-0, while one match before they won against tonights opponent Belarus, but it was far from the easy match as opponents created much more chances, and they deserved a point. Bulgaria is with 9 points still in the position to make a surprise as 2nd placed Sweden is only one point above and Bulgarians has things in their hands. Hubcev said on press conference, that he is totally aware that the match will be extremelly hard, and not just because they are playing against strong team, but also because they are in position, where they simply need to get points from the team who is without chances with 2 points.

All in all, I am taking really low odds here, which are far from my average odds (2,00) but I can see the value in those odds, which are covering half of draw. I think that Belarus with totally changed lineup, without some stable players on which they relied will be totally different. It's true that because of that they are less predictable as well, but I think that match will finish at least with draw and that Bulgarians are too big underdogs.

FT: 2-1

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