Euro 2020 Belgium vs Russia Prediction
Russia will host the world’s number one ranked nation on Saturday, June 12 at 3 pm EST in the two teams’ first fixtures of Group B. Let’s take things slowly and build our way to final Belgium vs Russia picks!
Belgium are the favorite in this tournament. Their young team has won ten of their last ten matches in Europe, leading at half-time in all of them as well as scoring at least two goals.
Euro 2020: Belgium’s Ways to Win
Belgium will most likely be without their star firepower in Eden Hazard and Kevin DeBruyne as they are recovering from injuries and manager Roberto Martinez does not need to force a return against a Russian team that should not worry them. With that said, the Belgians have a force up top in Lukaku who will unlock the game for them and is the key to their attack.
Belgium sets up in a 3-4-2-1 which requires the Inter Milan striker to stay big and stay high. Belgium is quite pacey in the middle and on the wings, so hold up play from Lukaku combined with runs down the flanks, or even some clever combination in the middle to move the ball forward, will really open up the game in favor of Belgium.
On defense, Russia really does not have any real stars. With that said, not many of these players play outside of Russia, so it may be difficult to prepare. Belgium does play an incredibly safe style of soccer, and their defense is world renown, so as long as they move cohesively, they should have no issues.
Euro 2020: Russia’s Ways to Win
Russia also will most likely line up in the exact same formation: 3-4-2-1, which means they will have a difficult time getting numbers up in the attack. Their outside backs will be vital. They are the source of width in the formation and will help to overload the defense. It is quite a lot of running, so hopefully they are fit, and playing at home will give them that extra burst, but they need to be very involved in the attack for Russia to break through this Belgian backline.
The midfield battle will be another key to this game as both teams have four central midfielders each in the center. With a crowded midfield like this, Russia needs to position themselves really effectively.
When on the ball, they need to be spread out wide, creating triangles and finding pockets of space to turn with the ball. When off the ball, they need to stop Belgium from doing the exact same thing. They need to hunt quickly and together, counter-pressing immediately whenever they lose the ball and making the space feel as tight as possible.
Euro 2020: Belgium vs Russia Prediction
Belgium are the clear favorite for a reason and Russia are, quite frankly, an unknown quantity. Their international success is fairly mediocre while Belgium finished third in the last World Cup as a very young roster and high-level domestic play and more experience has surely made them a better team.
They do suffer without Eden Hazard and De Bruyne, but they are a deep team and will do just fine without the Real Madrid and Manchester City duo.
An early goal deflates Russia who go down at half-time, come out with a fire in the second half only to go down a second goal which takes all the fuel out of their fire. A third goal is tucked away late into the game as the cherry on top and Belgium takes the first Group B fixture.
Belgium vs Russia Prediction: Belgium 3 Russia 0