Belgium national team take on Ireland in the second match of the European Championship group stage. The match will be played at Stade de Bordeaux on Saturday, June 17.
Belgium were considered as one of the contenders for the title before the start of the tournament but they failed in the very first match, losing 0-2 to Italy and appearing as unbalanced side, who’s players see one another for the first time. Of course, skilled Wilmots’ team had possession had 18 shots but only two of them were on goal and the most of them were taken from the range and weren’t a threat to Buffon. Italy had control over Belgium’s midfield and attacking line, giving them no chance in the match. Now Belgium need to gain points in two remaining matches, otherwise the place in knockout stage might be in danger.
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Ireland traveled to the tournament with no high expectations and showed unexpectedly nice football in the first match against Sweden. O’Neil’s men appeared balanced side and didn’t allowed Ibrahimovic or his teammates take a single shot on goal. However, poor clearance form Clark turned to own goal that took a win from Ireland away, 1-1. Ireland did a great job in preparing for Euro in France and they should be considered as contenders for the place in the round of 16.
Belgium and Ireland played seven head-to-heads in their history. Five of these matches ended with draws and twice Belgium were a stronger side. Both teams showed different football from what was expected from them as Belgium showed disappointing football while Ireland were close to victory on the opening match. However, Belgium is skilled side and they should learn their lesson and show much better result against Ireland.
Prediction for the match: Belgium to win.