Lithuania – Bulgaria Predictions
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Lithuania 3-1 Bulgaria
Date: 09.10.2021 | Match at: 14:00 | League: World Cup – Qualification | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.49 | Bookie: Unibet.
Lithuania – Bulgaria Match Preview
- A new era beckons for Lithuania as head coach Valdas Ivanauskas takes charge of his home nation for the first time here. A cult hero for Hamburg fans after a spell playing in Germany during the 90s, Ivanauskas also has the Scottish Cup in his cabinet from managing Hearts, though he potentially has a much tougher job here to get a pointless Lithuania off the ground in World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) Group C (L5).
- If there was a game on paper in which Lithuania could pick up crucial points, it would be this one given that they’re at home to the next lowest-ranked nation in the group, Bulgaria (#70). However, they did lose ‘to nil’ in the only two prior H2Hs, whilst the 67-place gulf in rankings could really be highlighted here as Lithuania have now failed to score in seven of their last nine games (L9).
- Although visiting Bulgaria sit above only Lithuania in Group C, they could move into the top-two with a comprehensive victory, albeit probably only temporarily. This team is a far cry from the silky Bulgaria of the 1994 USA World Cup, though the only way is up for a nation looking for their first World Cup qualification since 1998.
- Qualifiers involving Bulgaria are often drab affairs with six of their last seven WCQ outings producing two or fewer total match goals. Whilst the bookmakers expect them to edge this clash, they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in their away game vs the lowest-ranked nation in their group in three previous WCQ campaigns which remains a concern (W1, D1, L1).
- Players to watch: Edgaras Dubickas could be the man to double Lithuania’s WCQ goal tally after scoring in his latest club game for Piacenza. Meanwhile, Todor Nedelev will be confident here after notching a goal and two assists in Bulgaria’s latest friendly (4-1 W vs Georgia).
- Hot stat: Lithuania have faced a group-high 94 shots so far (18.8 per match on average).