Preview - Iceland vs Belgium 12 September 18

Started by Harry85, Sep 11, 2018, 05:38 AM

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Sep 11, 2018, 05:38 AM Last Edit: Sep 11, 2018, 06:03 AM by Harry85
Uefa Nations League A Group 2
Iceland vs Belgium
Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
03:45am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium:  Laugardalsvollur

Last five matches form: D D L L L
Average goals per match (last ten games): 1.70
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 2.30
Top Scorer: Kolbeinn Sigborsson (22)

Last five matches form: W W L W W
Average goals per match (last ten games): 2.70
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 0.70
Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (41)

If you have just shipped six goals to Switzerland, one match you probably don't want to see looming on the slate of fixtures is a clash against one of the best attacking sides in world football in Belgium. Unfortunately for Iceland, that is just what they face here.

Belgium have lost just once in their past 27 international fixtures, when going down narrowly to eventual champions France in the semi finals of the World Cup. Having hammered Scotland 4-0 away last time out, they will arrive here full of confidence.

This will be the tenth meeting between the sides, with Belgium winning six of the previous nine to Iceland's three.

For a side so famed for their work ethic and defensive solidity, the glut of goals Iceland have conceded of late must be particularly concerning for new boss Erik Hamrén. It will be interesting to see what tactics he employs here following that debacle against the Swiss.

It's tough to predict anything other than a fairly comfortable victory for Belgium here. It's difficult to see how the Icelanders can hope to contain the likes of Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku in their current form. They are at least at home, but that looks to be just about the only factor in their favour.

Prediction: Iceland 0 - 4 Belgium


Half time: 0 - 2
Full time: 0 - 3
Shots:  2 - 15
Shots on target: 1 - 6
Corner Kicks: 4 - 9
Possession: 30% - 70%

Just the one booking in Iceland with the home sides Birkir Saevarsson having his name taken by referee Sergei Karasev.

The gulf in class was all too evident here, with it really only looking a question of just how many Belgium would win by. Iceland weren't humiliated quite to the extent they were against Switzerland in midweek, but nevertheless only registered the one shot on target in the game and were comfortably dispatched by this impressive Belgium outfit.

In fairness to Iceland the opening period of the game was their best spell as they did muster a couple of half chances. Belgium were beginning to gain a stranglehold on the game though and took the lead in the 29th minute.

Attempting to get on the end of a cross from the right, Romelu Lukaku was hauled down in the area by his shirt and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Eden Hazard stepping up to calmly convert into the bottom right.

Lukaku got himself on the scoresheet just two minutes later. Keeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson doing well to keep out a Vincent Kompany header following a corner from the right, but Lukaku in the right place to control and stab home the rebound despite the best efforts of the defenders on the line. 2-0 at the break.

Iceland did give it ago in the second half but looked to be lacking that crucial cutting edge in the final third.

Belgium had to wait until the 81st minute for their third and final goal. Dries Mertens playing in a low ball from the right which saw Lukaku get across both his marker and the keeper towards the near post to finish cleverly into the bottom left.

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