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Group G - Belgium Team Review

Started by FastGoal, Jun 05, 2018, 12:59 PM

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FastGoal

Belgium


FIFA World Ranking: 3
Qualifying Average Goals Per Match: 4.30
Qualifying Average Goals Against Per Match: 0.60
Qualifying Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (11)
World Cup Best Performance: Fourth Place (1986)

Group G Opponents: England, Panama and Tunisia


The Manager: Roberto Martinez
Spaniard Martinez spent the majority of both his playing and managerial career in the UK. He had his highs and lows whilst in charge of Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Everton, leading Swansea to promotion from League One and recording an improbable FA Cup victory with Wigan, but also being relegated from the Premier League with the latter. Following a mixed spell in charge of Everton, he was handed the task of organising one of the most talented squads in Belgian history. Life under Martinez has certainly started in encouraging fashion, with the Red Devils winning 14 of his 17 games in charge and romping through qualification with nine wins from ten and having scored a record equalling 43 goals. Can the likeable Martinez find a way to get the star studded side to deliver on the biggest stage of all?


The Squad:
On paper at least this is one of the most talented groups in the competition and it isn't hard to see how they have risen to a FIFA world ranking of 3.

Chelsea stopper Thibaut Courtois remains rock solid in goal. Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Company, Han Vertonghen and Thomas Vermaelen are probably the most talented quartet of centre backs in the competition and generally compete for three spots.

Kevin De Bruyne has been nothing short of majestic in the Premier League for Manchester City this season and has the ability to bend any game to his will. The talented Mousa Dembélé of Spurs and solid Axel Witsel generally lend support whilst rising star Leander Dendoncker is another to watch in the centre of the park.

The quality continues up front with - the at times unplayable - Eden Hazard, speedy Dries Mertens, who has been in excellent goalscoring form for Napoli this term, and Romelu Lukaku who top scored in qualifying.



Star Man: Eden Hazard
There's certainly a case to be made for De Bruyne, but for us the player opposition defences will least look forward to facing is Chelsea's Eden Hazard. Supremely skilful, lightning quick - particularly over short distances - Hazard has an almost Houdini like ability to work his way through players, possesses an eye for the killer pass as well as being a reliable finisher himself. Handed the captains armband by Martinez, this world class talent seems to thrive for the responsibility and may well light up the stage in Russia.


Outlook:
Belgium and England look to be comfortably the best sides in this Group and can be expected to see off Panama and Tunisia. As such both may be through by the time they meet in their final Group game. Belgium do look to have more goals in the side though and may just come out on top.


Group G Prediction: 1st


FastGoal

Belgium


FIFA World Ranking: 3
Qualifying Average Goals Per Match: 4.30
Qualifying Average Goals Against Per Match: 0.60
Qualifying Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (11)
World Cup Best Performance: Fourth Place (1986)

Group G Opponents: England, Panama and Tunisia


The Manager: Roberto Martinez
Spaniard Martinez spent the majority of both his playing and managerial career in the UK. He had his highs and lows whilst in charge of Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Everton, leading Swansea to promotion from League One and recording an improbable FA Cup victory with Wigan, but also being relegated from the Premier League with the latter. Following a mixed spell in charge of Everton, he was handed the task of organising one of the most talented squads in Belgian history. Life under Martinez has certainly started in encouraging fashion, with the Red Devils winning 14 of his 17 games in charge and romping through qualification with nine wins from ten and having scored a record equalling 43 goals. Can the likeable Martinez find a way to get the star studded side to deliver on the biggest stage of all?


The Squad:
On paper at least this is one of the most talented groups in the competition and it isn't hard to see how they have risen to a FIFA world ranking of 3.

Chelsea stopper Thibaut Courtois remains rock solid in goal. Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Company, Han Vertonghen and Thomas Vermaelen are probably the most talented quartet of centre backs in the competition and generally compete for three spots.

Kevin De Bruyne has been nothing short of majestic in the Premier League for Manchester City this season and has the ability to bend any game to his will. The talented Mousa Dembélé of Spurs and solid Axel Witsel generally lend support whilst rising star Leander Dendoncker is another to watch in the centre of the park.

The quality continues up front with - the at times unplayable - Eden Hazard, speedy Dries Mertens, who has been in excellent goalscoring form for Napoli this term, and Romelu Lukaku who top scored in qualifying.



Star Man: Eden Hazard
There's certainly a case to be made for De Bruyne, but for us the player opposition defences will least look forward to facing is Chelsea's Eden Hazard. Supremely skilful, lightning quick - particularly over short distances - Hazard has an almost Houdini like ability to work his way through players, possesses an eye for the killer pass as well as being a reliable finisher himself. Handed the captains armband by Martinez, this world class talent seems to thrive for the responsibility and may well light up the stage in Russia.


Outlook:
Belgium and England look to be comfortably the best sides in this Group and can be expected to see off Panama and Tunisia. As such both may be through by the time they meet in their final Group game. Belgium do look to have more goals in the side though and may just come out on top.


Group G Prediction: 1st


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