Cyprus v Bosnia & Herzegovina Betting Tips: Cypriots to get competitive in Nicosia

19:04, 29 aug 2017

Six matches into qualifying and there is still plenty of work for both of these two teams to do if they have their sights set on reaching the World Cup proper in around 12 months time. Of the two, it is the Bosnians who, right now, are looking more likely to make it as they sit in 3rd, just a single point behind 2nd place Greece. Cyprus are currently four points behind Thursday’s opponents, but all is not lost. A win in this fixture would put the Cypriots firmly back in the hunt and so there’s everything to play for here.

From a betting point of view, although the Bosnians, who can be backed at no bigger than 4/7, are considered heavy favourites in the early betting, there’s reason to believe that the hosts can get competitive in this fixture. After all, when the teams last met in Cyprus (just two years ago), the hosts acquitted themselves well as they went down to a narrow defeat (2-3). At the prices, the bet that stands out ahead of this fixture is ‘Both Teams to Score’ at a generous looking 6/5.

Having scored just five goals in qualifying so far, it is fair to say that the home side have somewhat under-performed from an attacking point of view. If they’re to be denied a top-two spot then it is likely to be because of such impotency in front of goal. However, on their own patch is where the hosts have done best and they should certainly feel upbeat about their chances against a Bosnian outfit who’ve conceded all of their goals on the road. Three of Cyrpus’ five goals have come at GSP Stadium and, while they’ve only actually scored in just one of their three matches on home soil, their previous performances have definitely created a decent impression. Despite failing to score against Belgium on match-day one, Christakis Christoforou’s men created some promising chances, while the same can be said for their 0-0 draw against Estonia last time out. What’s more, with Bosnia likely to get forward plenty, the counter-attack should become a viable option for the hosts, just as it was when the two teams last met back in 2015.

After failing to score against Greece on match-day six, Bosnia will see this as an excellent opportunity to re-find their scoring touch. Thursday’s visitors have scored in all three of their previous meetings with Cyprus and so are likely to fancy their chances of doing so again. Having said that, they’ve conceded in two of those, letting in twice in their only previous match at this venue. Add in the fact that Bosnia have conceded in both of their away outings during this campaign so far and it becomes fairly easy to see them faltering in this fixture from a defensive point of view. In fact, Mehmed Baždarević’s side have conceded at least once in each of their last five travelling matches, while both teams have scored in four of those. Given the attacking quality in their ranks, the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Edin Dzeko and Vidad Ibisevic all spring to mind, it’s hard to see the visitors failing to score here, especially with their attacking record against this opponent, but, at the same time, it’s difficult to feel confident about them keeping a clean sheet.

With both teams scoring in 60% of this pair’s combined home and away matches in qualifying so far, along with the fact that they’ve only failed to score once between them in three previous meetings, at 6/5, ‘Both Teams to Score’ is the bet to go for ahead of Thursday’s showdown in Nicosia.

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