Belgium v Tunisia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 23rd June
Sam Langston (@Samlan98) previews Belgium v Tunisia and provides us with his best bets for Saturday’s Group G clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Belgium v Tunisia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 23/06/2018
- Time: 13:00
- Venue: Spartak Stadium
- Channel: BBC One
Despite a last minute loss to England on Monday, Nabil Maâloul is remaining optimistic about his sides’ chance of progressing through the group stage.
The tactically adept Tunisian was minutes from masterminding a famous result for his nation and praised the current crop of Eagles of Carthage talent in his post-match presser, after a resolute defensive display nearly earned them a valuable point.
The Africans proved to be competitive in their World Cup opener and have been underestimated in the Asian Handicap market here, having been priced on the +1.5 line. Only five out of twenty-three group games thus far have been settled by a two-goal margin or above, which demonstrates the competitiveness between this year’s World Cup participants.
Historical data also points to a similar trend of competitive action at major tournaments. During the last five World Cups, African nations have been defeated by two or more just ten times out of forty-four when playing European sides, meaning that 72.27% of the time they have lost by a one-goal margin or less. Tunisia +1.5 has been priced at 7/8 by Unibet, which implies a 53.19% probability of a single goal loss or better. When taking into account the aforementioned data, this suggests that Maâloul’s side have been undervalued in the market by 19.08%.
The data points to Tunisia as the value bet and opposing their Group G counterparts seems to be the viable approach to this one. Belgium lacked fluidity against a non-threatening Panama, who are arguably the worst team in the tournament, and could struggle to break down a more resilient back-line in their second group game.
Since the 2014 World Cup, The Red Devils have won just six out of twenty fixtures by more than a goal outside of their homeland, with five of these victories coming against sides who currently occupy ranking positions below 50th place. Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ have only won by two or more once from six in the previous two group stages at major tournaments, and more recent showings further accentuate why their short price of 7/20 is unjustifiable.
As Belgium boss for two years, Roberto Martinez has failed to be tested in the vast majority of his fixtures, with fifteen out of twenty internationals being versus sides ranked 40th or below. Despite sealing victories on fourteen occasions, one win in five meetings with top 40 nations cannot be considered impressive, and when factoring in their recent struggles against higher ranking outfits, backing a Belgium win at the current price should be opposed.
Farouk Ben Mustapha will replace Mouez Hassen in goal for Tunisia. The latter suffered a shoulder injury in the two-one defeat to England.
Belgium’s Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen remain side lined.
Potential Belgium Starting XI: Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Carrasco, De Bruyne, Witsel, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku.
Potential Tunisia Starting XI: Ben Mustapha, Meriah, S. Ben Youssef, Bronn, Maaloul, Skhiri, Badri, Sassi, F. Ben Youssef, Sliti, Khazri.
Head To Head
- Belgium won the last meeting between the nations by a one-goal margin in June 2014.
Key Stats & Facts
- Tunisia have not lost by more than one strike in their previous six meetings with nations who are competing at this year’s World Cup.
- Including last Monday’s two-one loss to England, The Eagles of Carthage have avoided two-goal defeats in six out of seven group stage games in their last three major tournaments.
- Belgium – 7/20
- Draw – 9/2
- Tunisia – 11/1
Tunisia require a minimum of one point from this fixture if they are to qualify for the Round of 16. Plenty of grit and determination was on display against England and a similar performance can be replicated versus the Group G favourites on Saturday. Notwithstanding their undoubted quality, Belgium remain unconvincing against the higher ranked nations and therefore, the 7/20 on offer for a second group-game victory should be opposed.