One of the pre-tournament favourites to win Euro 2020, Belgium, kick off their campaign with a tough opener against Russia in Saint Petersburg on June 13.
It’s curious, really, that after hosting the World Cup in 2018 the Russians have again been chosen as a co-host for this tournament, but even so they have a difficult job on their hands here against a Belgian side fancied to go very deep into the competition.
Let’s not forget, however, that Russia went all the way to the quarter finals on home soil, and once more they will be expected to perform well in front of their own supporters.
This is an intriguing contest then, and the other teams in Group B – Denmark and Finland – will be watching on with interest. There could be an almighty battle for second place behind the Belgians in this group.
But who will have the early advantage after the opening round of matches? Let’s take a look at our Belgium vs Russia preview.
1. Belgium vs Russia Betting Odds
Some bettors will really be licking their lips at the Belgium vs Russia betting odds, with the Belgians as long as 1.95 to get the win here.
But of course, the Russians will attract plenty of respect on home soil, and they will be of interest to some at 3.20.
The draw can be backed at 3.70.
2. Belgium vs Russia Predictions
Ten games played, ten wins, forty goals scored, three conceded. That was how Belgium qualified for Euro 2020, and it was as impressive a performance in qualification as you are ever likely to see.
There are caveats, of course, in that their group was a particularly easy one, but you can only beat what is put in front of you.
De Bruyne, Hazard, Mertens, Carrasco, Lukaku, Tielemans….these are players who require no introduction, and when combined in a coherent system they will take some stopping – as proven by their run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018.
There are question marks defensively, however, with Tottenham duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen not having the best of seasons and still a bit of a question mark in the full back areas.
What can we say about Russia? This was a team that performed to leave far greater than the sum of their parts in the World Cup, where it took Croatian nerves of steel in a penalty shootout to break their hearts.
This is an ageing squad which brings with it plenty of experience, but this is a team that plays in quite a one-dimensional fashion with direct balls into totemic frontman Artem Dzyuba.
Otherwise, head coach Stanislav Cherchesov has got them well-disciplined and organised, as evidenced by the fact that they only conceded eight goals in qualifying.
The consensus in these Belgium vs Russia predictions is that the home side perhaps doesn’t have the attacking quality to really take advantage of what is the Belgians’ arguable weakness in defence.
Unusually, these two teams were actually in the same qualification group, and on both occasions Belgium got the win – 3-1 in Brussels and 4-1 in this very Krestovsky Stadium ground that this game will be played at.
That margin of victory is quite stark, and we have to use that as reference for this game too.
3. Belgium vs Russia Betting Tips
There’s no denying it, Belgium are the better team and should win this game.
As far as our Belgium vs Russia betting tips are concerned, there surely won’t be many better bets than backing Belgium to win here at odds of 1.95.
We’re not besmirching Russia or their home advantage, it’s just that Belgium boast a selection of high quality players with lots of elite-level tournament experience.
At those odds, we don’t have to dilute our value by backing anything else, so simply take the Belgium win, sit back and (hopefully) enjoy!
4. Belgium vs Russia Live Stream
Depending on where you are based, you will be able to enjoy the Belgium vs Russia live stream on your chosen devices.
In the UK, for example, all matches will be broadcast live on either the BBC, ITV or Sky Sports, and available on TV, smartphones and tablets.
If you are in Europe or even further afield, you will need to check listings to see if the game is being broadcast live in your country, and also check with your bookmakers and betting apps to see if they will be showing a live stream too.