By Ian S. Palmer
Group B of the 2016 European Championship qualifying stage is still up for grabs as the top three positions have yet to be decided. Belgium and Wales are guaranteed to reach the Euro 2016 tournament in France next summer, but there are still three teams alive when it comes to third place and a berth in the playoff round. Belgium and Wales will qualify automatically no matter who ends up as group leaders and runners up. The biggest match of the group on Tuesday, October 13 will take place in Cyprus where the home nation will host Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both teams are battling it out with Israel for third spot and Israel will be playing in Belgium in their 10th and final group contest on Tuesday.
Euro 2016 Qualifying – Cyprus vs Bosnia-Herzegovina Tuesday, Oct 13
- Pinnacle Sports currently lists Bosnia and Herzegovina as the favorites at -102 with Cyprus +325 and a draw at +252
Head to Head:
- Dimitris Christofi scored two goals in Bosnia back in September of last year to earn a 2-1 win over the hosts after Vedad Ibisevic opened the scoring. It was the first time the two countries have met in a senior men’s international match.
Belgium currently leads the group with 20 points while Wales sits in second with 18. Bosnia owns third spot at the moment with 14 points from four wins, two draws and three losses. They’ve scored 14 goals and allowed 10 against. Israel is in fourth place with 14 points and they’re followed by Cyprus in fifth. Cyprus has 12 points on four victories and five defeats with 14 goals scored and 14 conceded. They’re still alive as they can climb to third place if they beat Bosnia and Israel loses to Belgium. Last place in Group B belongs to Andorra who have yet to earn a point and play in Wales in their final match on Tuesday.
Bosnia remained in the running with a 2-0 home win over Wales on Saturday and Cyprus also kept their hopes alive with a 2-1 victory in Israel. Cyprus has no choice but to win this contest while Bosnia could take third place with a draw as long as Israel loses. It can all get pretty complicated with three teams still in the running, but because of the current standings it won’t be possible for any of the teams to end up in tie for third place.
Cyprus hasn’t fared too well at home lately with just one win in their past eight competitive home matches. They also have five losses and a pair of draws during this stretch. The win was a 5-0 shutout over Andorra last November in Group B play. Meanwhile, Bosnia and Herzegovina has just one victory in their four Group B away outings, which was a 3-0 triumph in Andorra in March. They’ve lost two and drawn the other fixture.
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