Cyprus V Russia Betting Tips: Under 2.5 Goals – 13 October 2019

Another evenly-fought contest between Group I pair?

Cyprus V Russia

Sunday 13 October 2019 – 17:00 Kick-Off
UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying
Pick: Under 2.5 Goals
Odds: 17/20
Bookmaker: Unibet

1 X 2
109/20 13/4 53/100

* (All betting odds were correct as of 11 October 2019 at 10:35)

Preview: Group I has become all about the battle for minor placings, with Belgium and Russia simply too far ahead of the remaining teams. A point in Nicosia is all Russia require to make their participation at the 2020 European Championships official, although Cyprus will no doubt be determined to finish as the best of the rest and could consolidate their hold of third with a win inside their GPS Stadium in the Cypriot capital.

Euro 2020 Qualifying Betting – 22Bet

 

Cyprus Preview – Will they retain possession of third position?

Results in Group I: San Marino 5-0 (H), Belgium 0-2 (H), Scotland 2-1 (A), Russia 1-0 (A), Kazakhstan 1-1 (H), San Marino 0-4 (A), Kazakhstan 1-2 (A)

In theory, Cyprus could still mathematically finish in second. In reality, however, they are competing for third with Kazakhstan and Scotland. That would still have to count as a success, having begun the campaign as only the fourth best team in this section according to the latest FIFA Rankings, which has them in 92nd and some 50 places below that of Russia.

Even a third-place finish seemed beyond them at one stage. Victory in Kazakhstan on Thursday, however, changed that, as goals from Pieros Sotirious and Nicholas Ioannou steered the Cypriots to a 2-1 success despite trailing at the half-time interval. That made it three wins in the group (W3 D1 L3, GF13 GA7), though it was their first against a team other than San Marino, who they would also score nine of their thirteen goals past.

Cyprus are now enjoying their best spell for well over two years (W2 D1), winning successive games for the first time since August 2017. Meanwhile, this will be their fourth home qualifier of the campaign having earlier thrashed San Marino (5-0), provided some stubborn resistance to Belgium (0-2), and drew with Kazakhstan (1-1). Their last win at home which wasn’t a San Marino formality, however, being a 2-1 victory over Slovenia in September of last year (W1 D2 L2 since).

 

Cyprus or Draw (Double Chance)
11/8

Bet365

 

Russia Preview – Can they complete qualifying formalities?

Results in Group I: Belgium 3-1 (A), Kazakhstan 0-4 (A), San Marino 9-0 (H), Cyprus 1-0 (H), Scotland 1-2 (A), Kazakhstan 1-0 (H), Scotland 4-0 (H)

With the second highest FIFA Ranking in this group, the Russians were always expected to challenge for one of two automatic qualification positions. So them occupying second place, three points behind Belgium but eight clear of the rest, is not all that surprising in itself but the fact they are on course to qualify with games to spare certainly is. Just a point away to Cyprus would ensure they finish a minimum of second in Group I.

A 3-1 defeat in Belgium in their opening qualifier remains the only occasion whereby Russia haven’t secured maximum points, securing victories in their subsequent six matches with the most recent of those a 4-0 hammering of Scotland in Moscow. That took their tally of goals in this section to 22, averaging around three per game, although they would manage only one in the reverse encounter with Cyprus – a gritty 1-0 win in Nizhny Novgorod.

The latter result suggests this may not be straightforward for coach Stanislav Cherchesov to mastermind another win. It took them some time to get going on Thursday versus Scotland, however games outside of Russia have often started lively: all three of their away Euro 2020 qualifiers thus far have featured two or more first-half goals, although only once were they ahead at the break. Betfair offer 15/8 on Over 1.5 First Half Goals.

 

Cyprus V Russia Key Facts:

  • Back-to-back wins in this group, versus San Marino and Kazakhstan, enabled Cyprus to climb into third overall (W3 D1 L3).
  • Qualification is a near-certainty for Russia (W6 D0 L1), who would officially qualify with a draw or win here.
  • Just the one goal was scored in their previous meeting: a 1-0 win for Russia in Saint Petersburg.

 

Betting Summary

For a team which hasn’t won very often recently, to win from behind out in Kazakhstan would have felt like a big deal for Cyprus. That win was their second in succession and lifted them up into third position, one they would ideally like to keep hold of. Their only defeat at home in qualifying would come against Belgium (0-2), drawing with Kazakhstan (1-1) but thrashing San Marino (5-0).

There is still a chance that Russia could catch leaders Belgium. For that to occur, however, they would need to win their remaining three qualifiers, including that clash at home to the Belgians next month. Their main objective would have been qualification, which they have essentially wrapped up although a point or better against Cyprus would confirm it. Won two of three away qualifiers, losing in Belgium (3-1) but beating Scotland (1-2) and Kazakhstan (0-4).

All games involving Cyprus in this group have been fairly tight and low-scoring (the contests with San Marino obvious exceptions), so this could be another subdued affair between two teams whose previous encounter produced just the one goal in a 1-0 home win for Russia. Neither team really needs to go out and win this game either, which could impact the levels of intensity.


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