Predicting Group 1 of UEFA Nations League C

Nations League

Group C1 consists of two teams that finished fourth in their Euro 2020 qualifying group – Luxembourg and Cyprus alongside two nations that finished in fifth place – Montenegro and Azerbaijan. It’s within the realm of possibility for any of them to win the group, albeit some have better chances than others. However, someone has to top the group, and this article will be making that key prediction ahead of the Nations League and UEFA Nations League C.

Group 1 of UEFA Nations League C Predictions

Performances in European Qualifiers Provide Little Insight Here

All four of them are pretty much indistinguishable when you look at their performances in the 2019 European Qualifiers. The small point difference between a couple of them can be attributed to varying degrees of competitiveness in their respective groups. So, using their performances in qualifying is problematic and unreliable. Other sources are required.

Motivated Montenegro

One such source is the previous Nations League season. Montenegro and Cyprus played in League C that season. Azerbaijan and Luxembourg played in League D, meaning they don’t have the same experience as Hrabri Sokoli and I Galanolefki.

Montenegro obtained two more points than Cyprus in the 2018/19 Nations League. Although that was almost two years ago, Cyprus have not shown any signs of improving, losing home and away to a historically weak side in Scotland.

Meanwhile, Montenegro managed to draw against Bulgaria and Kosovo. Not significantly better than Cyprus, but better nonetheless. Additionally, Montenegro’s Elo Rating is notably higher than that of any other team in Group C1, further cementing their status as favourites.

Azerbaijan and Luxembourg Are on the Same Level Heading Into Nations League

Luxembourg only obtained points against Lithuania in European Qualifiers. Whereas, Azerbaijan held Croatia to a 1-1 draw in Baku. It would’ve been a 1-0 win had it not been for a Luka Modric penalty. Also, Milli suffered quite a few narrow and unfortunate losses with defeats against Croatia, Wales, and Hungary.

The same is true for Luxembourg, though. They similarly suffered losses to Serbia and group winners Ukraine. The point is that Azerbaijan and Luxembourg look a very entertaining match going into the group.

Cyprus Have Benefit of Previous League C Experience

Based on Cyprus’ performance in the European Qualifiers, little separates them from Azerbaijan and Luxembourg. Their 2-1 away win against Kazakhstan is more impressive than what any of the aforementioned competitors could accomplish, though. Cyprus may have obtained three more points than the Azeris in European Qualifiers, indicating slight superiority, but Azerbaijan will be looking to pick up some vital wins.

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