Belgium vs Russia / European Qualifiers EURO 2020 – Belgium and Russia are the biggest favourites in the Group I to qualify for the EURO 2020 final tournament. This is especially true for the Belgians who still occupy the first place in FIFA’s rank list and who won the third place at last year’s World Cup in Russia. Russia reached the quarter-finals and that is objectively a good result. Neither of two national teams occupies the first place in their respective groups in UEFA Nations League. Belgium and Russia met the last time two years ago the match ended as draw 3-3.
Belgium vs Russia begins 21.03.2019 at 20:45 CET
Excellent generation Belgian players probably has just one chance to do something big and that is right the coming European Championship. They were regarded to win the title at the previous one but they couldn’t go further than the quarter-finals. The Belgians made one step further at the World Cup in Russia where they reached the semi-finals but lost to later winner, France. They won the English in match for the third place and bronze cannot be qualified as a failure, however, they wanted more than the third place.
After the World Cup the Belgians continued with good results in the Nations League. They seemed invincible till the last away match with Switzerland. They took a lead of 2-0 but then lost by 5-2. The defeat removed them from the first place in their group. It was a painful defeat and at the same time the last official match they played. Now, European qualifiers starts and they have problems with the team as out of action are Kompany, Meunier, Vermaelen, de Bruyne and Witsel, while R. Lukaku is questionable.
Probable lineups Belgium: Courtois – Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen – Chadli, Dendoncker, Tielemans, Carrasco – T. Hazard, Mertens, E. Hazard
Reaching the quarter-finals at the last World Cup was a great success for this generation of Russian players. They could even do better with a bit more luck but there is no place for criticism. Carried by the success Russian team started well the UEFA Nations League. They won Turkey two times and drew the first match with Sweden. When they played the decisive second match with Sweden in the last round they underperformed and lost 2-0, which ruined their chance to win the first place.
Before the second match with Sweden the Russians played a friendly with German and lost 3-0, so now before European qualifiers it has two lost matches and no scored goals. Regarding the team, it was changed right after the World Cup and now it will not fully resemble one that played in the Nations League. We expect to see a bit different team compared to one that faced Sweden in their last head-to-head, as several players are not even invited. Midfielder Zobnin is injured and he would certainly play if he isn’t, while veteran Zhirkov was invited later on.
Probable lineups Russia: Lunev – M. Fernandes, Semenov, Jikia, Kudryashov – Ozdoev, Gazinskiy – Ionov, Golovin, Cheryshev – Dzyuba
Belgium vs Russia PICK
Belgium is definitely shaken after defeat suffered in the finish of Nations League but now qualification starts in which they must make no mistake and we expect to dominate the match despite large number of absences. The Russians are not complete either and objectively they are weaker team. On top of it, they will play away.
Pick: Asian handicap -1.5 Belgium
Odds: 1.98 at bet365 (down to 1.88 can be played)
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