Belgium v Russia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 21/03/19

Belgium v Russia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

Josh Waudby (@Josh_Waudby) previews Belgium v Russia and provides us with his best bets for Belgium’s first Euro qualifier by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

  • 2019 Profit & Loss: +8pts

Belgium v Russia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 21/03/2019
  • Time: 19:45
  • Venue: King Baudouin Stadium
  • Channel: Sky Sports Mix

Belgium and Russia both boasted impressive World Cup performances. Belgium ended up beating England in the 3rd place play offs to achieve the highest ever finish by the national side at a World Cup. Russia Also matched their best ever finish at the world cup, by finally being eliminated by Croatia in the quarter finals. Russia did provide a huge shock getting that far, however it does show how much confidence can be added to the squad by playing the games in their home country, and having a huge support following at each game.

Belgium will be looking to bounce right back from a poor show in their last UEFA Nations League, where despite going 2-0 up after 17 minutes, they fell to a 5-2 defeat to Switzerland. They will be eager to correct their mistakes and make a point in their opener against Russia. Russia come into the game having lost their last 2, to Sweden and Germany. Russia also failed to find the net in both of those games, so you have to go back to October to when they scored.

Russia will also be encouraged by the spirit they showed at the World Cup, which only saw them dismissed vie penalties by Croatia. Both Russia and Belgium will be confident they have the quality to take the top 2 spots in their group, being the two highest ranked teams in group I. Should either of them get a win here it will give them a fantastic start to qualification, with games ahead against the likes of San Marino, Kazakhstan and Cyprus which both sides will expect to win comfortably. It is fair to say that the top two spots will most likely be contested between the remaining 3 who are Belgium, Russia and Scotland.

Team News

Lukaku has been a late withdrawal from the Belgian side due to a foot injury. Meunier has also withdrawn late. De Bruyne, Witsel and Kompany were all left out of the squad due to ongoing injuries.

Surprisingly Roman Neustädter and Roman Zobnin were left out of Stanislav Cherchesov’s squad.

Potential Belgium Starting XI: Courtios, Chadli, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Carasco, Dendoncker, Tielemans, E.Hazard, Mertens, T.Hazard

Potential Russia Starting XI: Lunev, Fernandes, Semenov, Dzhikiya, Kudryashov, Ozdoev, Gazinskiy, Cheryshev, Golovin, Ionov, Dzyuba

Head To Head

  • Belgium and Russia have met 4 times over the last 20 years, in which Belgium came out victorious in 3 of them and a draw in the 4th
  • Belgium have beat Russia on 2 occasions at the last 5 world cups to prevent Russia from Qualifying.

Key Stats & Facts

  • Belgium have only lost 2 of their last 32 fixtures (W24, D6, L2).
  • Belgium haven’t lost at home for over 2 years in all competitions.
  • Seven of Russia’ last nine wins have come by at least a 2 goal cushion.

Betting Odds

  • Belgium 3/10
  • Draw 9/2
  • Russia 8/1

The Verdict

Despite Russia’s fine effort at the World Cup, I would be shocked to see them continue on the form, especially with a majority ageing squad. I can only see Belgium coming away from this with a comfortable win. Belgium’s golden Era is starting to mature, so they need to put this generation to the top soon or they will run out of time to win a major tournament, and a perfect qualification would kickstart that dream.

Belgium to win on a -1 handicap looks great value at just below evens. Russia’s last two games have seen them lose both by at least a -1 handicap. Although Belgium’s most recent fixture was a 5-2 defeat to Switzerland in their last UEFA Nations League game, they will be eager to get back to the form they boasted before that, which saw them win 8 of the 10 prior to this. And of the 8 wins, 5 were by a -1 handicap or more. The Red Devils have also netted 2 or more goals in 14 of their last 16 games, to show how easy they find it to score.

Hazard has enjoyed a good personal campaign so far with Chelsea this season, and I can only see him adding to this on the international stage. He had a very impressive World Cup too and despite only getting 3 goals, he was many fan’s player of the tournament. With Lukaku out injured the onus will mostly be on him, Mertens and likely little brother Thorgan to provide the goals, of which they are definitely capable. Hazard also Impressed in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in which he got 6 goals in 8 games.

Recommended Bets

  • 3pts – Belgium (-1) Handicap – 19/20 (Ladbrokes, Coral)
  • 0.5pts – Edin Hazard to score 2 or more goals – 13/2 (Skybet, Ladbrokes, Coral, SportsPesa)