Belgium v Russia betting tips: Qualifying rivals meet again
Preview and odds for Saturday’s match
Belgium are widely fancied to win a major tournament for the first time at Euro 2020 and have a chance to lay down a marker when they meet Russia in their Group B opener.
The Red Devils are top of the pile in the world rankings and will be hopeful of going all the way after their semi-final exit at the World Cup three years ago.
Saturday’s match is live on ITV and kicks off at 8pm as we highlight a few potential Belgium v Russia betting tips.
Belgium v Russia match odds
Belgium’s team is packed full of talent and this looks the best opportunity yet for this golden generation to win some silverware.
A squad featuring the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard is the envy of most nations and Belgium are 8/11 to make a winning start.
They proved they are not invincible by only drawing 1-1 with Greece in a recent warm-up game while they have already dropped points in World Cup qualifying after being held to a 1-1 draw in the Czech Republic.
Russia defied low expectations at the 2018 World Cup on home soil to reach the quarter-finals and have home advantage once again this weekend, with the match taking place in Saint Petersburg.
It may take more than home help for them to avoid defeat this weekend, though, with Belgium having done the double over Russia on their way to 10 wins out of 10 in qualifying.
But Russia won their other eight matches, scoring 31 goals in the process, so this could prove to be an entertaining contest with most of Belgium’s best players being in attacking positions.
Belgium v Russia head-to-head
The goals have flowed in the three meetings these two teams have had in the last five years.
A thrilling friendly in 2017 ended 3-3, with Russia battling back from 3-1 down at the break.
In Euro 2020 qualifying, Belgium were clearly the better team in both meetings and an Eden Hazard double helped them to a 3-1 home win.
Hazard was the star man again eight months later with a first-half brace in Saint Petersburg after younger brother Thorgan had opened the scoring, while Lukaku netted the fourth in a 4-1 win.
Russia: Shunin, Karavayev, Semenov, Dzhikiya, Zhirkov, Ozdoev, Zobnin, Golovin, Ionov, Barinov, Dzyuba.
Belgium will launch their bid for glory without De Bruyne and Axel Witsel, who both remained behind at their training base in Tubize as they continue to make good progress in their respective recoveries from injury.
Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov’s plans have been disrupted by a Covid test for Zenit midfielder Andrei Mostovoy which yielded “unfavourable Results” with Roman Yevgenyev drafted into the squad in his place.
Russia will hope Belgium’s best players are not quite ready to hit the ground running at the European Championship.
De Bruyne’s injury suffered in the Champions League final and Eden Hazard’s fitness issues at Real Madrid this season could give Russia less to worry about but Belgium are still likely to dominate possession.
Lukaku is one of the leading contenders to win the golden boot so will hope for a fast start in that regard, with the former Manchester United striker available as a Smart Boost at 14/1 to score in both halves.
Russia have a powerful striker of their own and Artem Dzyuba was the top scorer in their qualifying group.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication