Belgium are the No. 1 ranked team in the world heading into the Euro 2020 tournament. Coach Roberto Martinez will fancy the team’s chances of lifting the trophy. Belgium’s golden generation is ageing and this could be their last chance to win the Euro 2020 tournament. Russia are first up on the docket for Belgium. The Russians will have home-field advantage as the game will be played in St. Petersburg.

The Belgians have never lost against Russia. They have posted a record of 5W-2D-0L versus Russia all-time. The teams last met in 2019 in Euro 2020 qualifying. The Belgians won the game 4-1. The teams met twice in Euro 2020 qualifying with Belgium winning twice by a total score of 7-2.

Russia are could cause a minor shock with a positive result versus Belgium on Saturday. The Russians will have the home crowd behind them which could ultimately be the reason for a good result. Russia are coming off of two matches without a loss in international friendlies prior to the start of the tournament. It is expected that Russia will fight for second place in Group B.

Belgium, on the other hand, are expected to fight for top spot in Group B. A setback against Russia would see Belgium needing a win on matchday 2 of Group B against Denmark – another team expected to fight for second place.

Belgium vs Russia Betting Odds

 

Euro 2020 tournament qualification was easy for Belgium. They scored 40 goals and allowed just three strikes to opponents. Belgium won 10 games from 10 qualifiers in a brilliant campaign. Now, Martinez needs to follow it up with a good Euro 2020 tournament. Unfortunately, Belgium may not have the ability to go through the tournament to win it all.

Martinez is likely to use his favoured 3-4-3 formation. Fitness issues being experienced by Kevin de Bruyne and the lack of playing time for Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard could be factors in Belgium’s ability or inability to win the trophy.

Leading sportsbooks have Belgium at odds of 8/11 to win the match at full-time. Playing in St. Petersburg will give Russia an upper hand. Russia are at odds of 9/2 to win the match at full-time. They have never defeated Belgium in previous meetings.

Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov has rebuilt the squad since the national team hosted the 2018 World Cup. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich retired after the World Goalkeeper Anton Shunin is likely to start in goal. Igor Diveyev and Roman Yevgenyev will likely play in defence. Although Russia are to fight for second place in Group B, they are more likely to finish third or fourth. Russia could earn one of the four third-place spots in the next round.

Belgium vs Russia Team News

Belgium’s big questions revolve around midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and forward Eden Hazard. De Bruyne suffered a fractured eye socket in the Champions League Final when collided with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger. He has undergone surgery and is on pace to play in the Euro 2020 tournament. There is no guarantee he will play at the tournament, but the operation has improved chances of it occurring.

With De Bruyne’s participation in doubt, Romelu Lukaku becomes Belgium’s top player and key to success. If Belgium’s golden generation fails to win the Euro 2020 tournament, the team’s chances of winning a major tournament under Martinez is possibly over. Hazard and De Bruyne were the team’s key offensive stars. Lukaku will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders if Hazard struggles and De Bruyne plays sparingly. Lukaku has scored 60 goals in 93 career matches for the Belgian national team.

Russia will depend on striker Artem Dzyuba as their chief goalscorer. The Zenit St Petersburg player started all 10 of Russia's Euro 2020 qualifiers. He is the team's main man on the pitch.

Russia kept two clean sheets and conceded 18 goals in 11 games since the beginning of 2020. Aleksandr Golovin is likely to start in attack with Dzyuba. The duo need to gel early on to enable Russia to progress to the knockout stage.

Belgium vs Russia Prediction

Both teams to score: NO @ 10/11 - BET NOW

 

Two of Belgium’s last three matches in all competitions finished with both teams not scoring goals. They are coming off of a 1-0 win over Croatia in the final friendly before the Euro 2020 tournament. Russia are also coming off of a 1-0 win. They defeated Bulgaria in the final prep match. Russia are likely to struggle versus Belgium’s defence. Belgium have allowed just one goal in their last three matches.

Romelu Lukaku to score anytime @ 11/8 - BET NOW

 

Lukaku is coming off of a brilliant season at Inter Milan. HIs goals led the team to the Scudetto for the first time in a decade. He scored 30 goals in 44 matches in all competitions with 24 goals coming in Serie A. Lukaku is the key to Belgium’s attack and success. If De Bruyne is unable to play and Hazard is off the pace, Belgium will need Lukaku to thrive in the final third.

Under 2.5 goals scored @ 4/5 - BET NOW

 

Belgium may take time to get warmed up at the Euro 2020 tournament. With De Bruyne likely to miss the first game and question marks around Hazard, the team could struggle to score goals early on. Russia may have come through qualifying and friendlies with wins. They scored goals, but should find it far more difficult to get goals versus a strong Belgium.

Belgium should claim a win although Russia are playing in front of their home fans. It may be a narrow win on Saturday for the Red Devils.

The Belgians may not be good enough to win the trophy, but they should top Group B. Belgium may be ranked No. 1 and a lot is expected from them. However, Belgium may not be as good as they were at the 2018 World Cup.