Group C4 features three former Soviet states in Kazakhstan, Belarus (the only team of the group that can still qualify for Euro 2020), and Lithuania. Alongside those three, we have Albania. An intriguing group for sure, even though Lithuania’s fate in fourth place seems more or less sealed. This article will be predicting Group 4 of UEFA Nations League C.
Predicting Group 4 of UEFA Nations League C
Lithuania lost all but one game in the 2019 European Qualifiers – a 1-1 home draw against Luxembourg. Rinktine are likely to struggle against Albania, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Also, they trail in 128th place of the World Football Elo Ratings.
Albania are the presumptive group-winner, and rightfully so, having outperformed all three of their Group C4 competitors in Euro 2020 qualifying. Obtaining three more points than the second-best performing teams of the group, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Kazakhstan did demolish Scotland 3-0 in Astana, but that result was an exception rather than the rule. The only other team they defeated was San Marino. Meanwhile, Albania defeated Iceland, Moldova and Andorra. Not vastly better than what the Kazakhs accomplished, yet still enough to favour Albania as winners of this group, though. On top of this, they are ranked 40 positions higher than Kazakhstan according to Elo Ratings. Belarus are pretty even with Kazakhstan, so the same logic can be applied to Belarus when comparing them to Albania.
Distinguishing Belarus and Kazakhstan
As previously stated, Belarus and Kazakhstan are about evenly matched. However, one can still look at factors in an attempt to distinguish the two. Kazakhstan defeated Scotland decisively. Meanwhile, Belarus scraped a 2-1 victory over Estonia thanks to a last-minute goal. In defence of The White Wings, though, their scorelines are more consistent. For example, they only lost by a single goal against the Netherlands and Northern Ireland. Consistency will be essential throughout the Nations League group phase, and the Belarussians showed slightly more of that than Kazakhstan did in Euro qualifying.
Additionally, Belarus’ Elo Rating is significantly higher than Kazakhstan’s. Belarus have the minor margins on their side.