Belgium welcome the visitors Russia in the Euro Qualification – Round 1. The match will be held on Thursday, March, 21st, at the King Baudouin Stadium (Brussels).
The Belgium national team must be very happy about their group rivals. They will face Russia, Scotland, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, and San Marino… The side’s lethal attack may increase their scoring stats significantly and have fun by shipping to the rivals, like, they may net 50 goals in 10 qualification rounds. Given Belgium’s weak opponents, this is very doable. Notably, in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, the Belgians scored 43 goals, whereas they competed with rather plucky sides Greece and Bosnia, so, they can easily manage 50+ goals this time. The hosts on the day will not differentiate much between their opponents – any side will miss a lot. Certainly, the Russian team will suffer less than San Marino, but in all groups fixtures, the Belgians will feature a -1.5 handicap as a minimum.
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As far as the visitors are concerned, we consider the Russians’ World Cup success a one-time thing, and, actually, they did not do a lot there – the team won Saudi Arabia, 5:0, and Egypt, 3:1. These cannot be labeled as great achievements, to be frank. Take, for example, the UEFA Nations League, the decisive clash against the Swedes saw the Russians concede, 2:0. By all means, the coming match is not the most important one for the guests – it’s much more important not to fail against Kazakhstan in Round 2 held a few days later, as, in order to take the 2nd line in the group, the team need to rack up points in matches against San Marino, Kazakhstan, and Cyprus, and then decide who will qualify to the Euro-2020 in the head-to-heads against Scotland.
We’re betting on the Belgians’ defense’s -1.5 handicap. It’s crucial so that the homeside do not underestimate their group contenders and relax early before. The team may take some rest by Rounds 7-8 when they guarantee their qualification, not in the first clashes though.
Prediction for the match: Belgium to win with a -1.5 handicap.