Preview - Euro 2020 Belgium vs Russia 12 June 21

Started by Harry85, Jun 10, 2021, 11:47 PM

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Harry85

Euro 2020 Group B
Belgium vs Russia
Sunday, June 13th, 2021
04:00am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: Saint-Petersburg Stadium

Belgium:
Last five matches form: W D W D W
Average goals per match (last ten games): 2.50
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 0.90
Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (60)

Russia:
Last five matches form: W W L D W
Average goals per match (last ten games): 1.10
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 1.40
Top Scorer: Artem Dzyuba (29)

There are plenty of sides who head into Euro 2020 with a realistic shot of lifting the trophy. And very much included amongst that number are Roberto Martinez's Belgium outfit. First up for the Red Devils is this Group B clash with Russia.

Belgium are not only ranked as the number one side in Europe at present, but actually sit top of the FIFA World rankings, 37 spots above 38th placed Russia.

This will be the eighth meeting between these sides and Russia are yet to master Belgium, with the previous seven fixtures seeing five wins for Belgium and two draws.

Axel Witsel is the major doubt for Belgium, with Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard being the other uncertain starters. No expected absentees for Russia.

Belgium arrive here with just the one defeat in their last 23 fixtures, impressively conceding more than once in only two of those games and scoring two or more on 18 occasions.

It's been much more of a mixed bag for Russia with just the three wins in their last eleven, scoring more than once only three times, but also conceding more than once only twice.

The FIFA rankings suggest there is a gulf in class here, and Belgium arrive in much the better form. We expect the favourites to win this one.

Prediction: Belgium 2 - 0 Russia

Harry85

Half time: 2 - 0
Full time: 3 - 0
Shots: 9 - 5
Shots on target: 4 - 1
Corner Kicks: 2 - 4
Possession: 66% - 34%
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz

Cards:
Belgium: None
Russia: None

Goals:
10 minutes 0-1 (Romelu Lukaku): Lukaku getting a little fortunate having mis-timed his run slightly to stray into an offside position as a through ball was played in. The ball took a hefty deflection off a tracking back defender though to play him back on and he made no mistake, lathing onto the ball just to the left of the penalty spot and firing home into the bottom right.

34 minutes 0-1 (Thomas Meunier): Belgium working the ball to the left corner of the eighteen-yard box and a dangerous cross come shot spinning into the six-yard area. Anton Shunin got down to palm clear but only straight to Meunier who slotted home into the bottom right from around eight yards out to the right of centre.

88 minutes 0-1 (Romelu Lukaku): Thomas Meunier turning provider for the final goal, playing Lukaku through into the right channel. Lukaku easily outpacing the defence to slot home into the bottom right from around twelve yards out to the right.


Analysis: This was men against boys in the opening period. Belgium looking calm, composed and organised in possession and leaving Russia chasing shadows at times - the hosts attempting to press but misjudging things and leaving themselves short and under pressure as a result. No surprise at all that the number one ranked side took a comfortable lead into the break.

Better from Russia in the second half as they did at least force Belgium back and pressed more in unison. They were however still unable to really muster much in the way of an opportunity - managing only one shot on target over the course of the ninety minutes - before Belgium rubber stamped their superiority with a third.


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