Azerbaijan play host to Slovakia in the UEFA Nations League on Friday evening knowing that defeat would realistically leave them out of the hunt for promotion to Division B.
Meanwhile, Slovakia head into this contest on the back of a surprise defeat to Kazakhstan, putting the visitors under pressure to bounce back in Group C3.
Slovakia started this campaign as the clear favourites to progress, Stefan Tarkovic’s team having collected some solid results during and after their participation at Euro 2020.
However, Monday’s home defeat to Kazakhstan has left Slovakia in second position, aware that they can ill-afford another setback on the same day that the group leaders face Belarus.
With the return fixture in Kazakhstan scheduled to be play next Monday, Tarkovic may already have one eye on that fixture, but Slovakia cannot afford to take their upcoming opponents lightly.
On a positive note, the Falcons have only lost three of their last nine games in all competitions, the other two setbacks coming in Russia and Norway.