Preview - Belgium vs Egypt 07 June 18

Started by Harry85, Jun 06, 2018, 07:49 PM

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International Friendly
Belgium vs Egypt
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
03:45am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: Heysel Stadium

Last five matches form: W D W W D
Average goals per match: 4.30
Average goals against per match: 0.60
Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (30)

Last five matches form: D L L D D
Average goals per match: 1.50
Average goals against per match: 0.62
Top Scorer: Mohamed Salah (33)

These sides meet for the third time in their history here and perhaps a little surprisingly it is Egypt who have come out on top in each of the previous two. Winning 1-0 in 1999 and 4-0 in 2005. The balance of power between the sides now seems to firmly lie with Belgium though, with Roberto Martinez's side ranked number 3 in the FIFA rankings. Egypt are rated 46 but are on something of a high at the minute having qualified for their first World Cup Finals since 1990.

You don't reach the lofty heights of number three in the rankings without winning a game or two, and Belgium have certainly done that. Along with Germany they broke the record for the number of goals scored in European qualifying and head into this fixture on a seventeen match unbeaten streak.

Things haven't been going quite so smoothly for Egypt. Not only are they facing possibly the most anxious race against time of any World Cup nation concerning the fitness of talisman and superstar, Mohamed Salah, they have also failed to win any of their four warm up games to date, losing to both Portugal and Greece and drawing with Kuwait and Colombia.

That 0-0 draw with a decent Colombia outfit should offer some encouragement, but the main concern for Egypt is - in the absence of Salah - where are the goals going to come from?

Egypt's defensive organisation will likely be tested to the maximum against this talented Belgium side, and we don't see them holding out.

Prediction: Belgium 3 - 0 Egypt


Half time: 2 - 0
Full time: 3 - 0
Shots: 17 - 5
Shots on target: 9 - 2
Corner Kicks: 8 - 2
Possession: 61% - 39%

Three bookings in this one. All for the away side with Tarek Hamed, Ahmed Fathy and Mohamed Elneny all seeing yellow.

The opening goal finally came in the 27th minute and is no doubt a moment that Egypt keeper Essam El Hadary would like to forget. He did manage to get down to save Eden Hazard's low effort from the edge of the area but should really have done much better than palm the ball into the path of Romelu Lukaku who had the simplest of tasks to slot home.

After 38 minutes it was two. A combination of determined running and lacklustre defending down the left-hand side seeing Yannick Carrasco breaking into the box down the left by-line. The wide man picked out Hazard dropping back towards the penalty spot, Hazard in turn picking out the back of the net. 2-0 at the break.

Egypt were much better in the second half, seeming to be improved by a spate of substitutions. Whilst they did at least offer some form of attacking threat, they were nevertheless unable to muster anything really clear cut.

The third came in the second minute of stoppage time. Excellent work from fit again Michy Batshuayi working his way into the box on the right before pulling the ball back to Marouane Fellaini for the tap in

The return of Elneny was a plus for Egypt, but its hard to overstate just how much they are missing Mohamed Salah. They desperately need him to make it back in time for the finals if they are to have a realistic chance of escaping the group phase.

A solid performance form Belgium but nothing spectacular, with Kevin De Bruyne looking a little out of sorts. Three goals and a clean sheet certainly won't do their confidence any harm though.


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