- Belgium and Russia meet in Matchday 1 of Euro 2020
- The teams play in St. Petersburg on June 12th with bookies heavily favoring the Belgians
- Read below for a preview, the latest odds and more
Belgium vs Russia concludes Euro 2020 action on June 12th. The two teams matchup in St. Petersburg on Saturday in the opening round of fixtures in Group B.
These sides qualified together, with Belgium proving dominant in the group and Russia taking second place. The Russians picked up maximum points in their non-Belgium matches in what was a very favorable group.
They scored 33 goals through the 10 fixtures, and only conceded eight. It’s worth noting for bettors, though, that seven of those eight conceded came against this Belgium side, who have only lost once since their 2018 World Cup semifinal defeat to France.
Belgium vs Russia Odds
|Belgium vs Russia||BEL -1 (+135) | RUS +1 (-162)||BEL -137 | RUS +425 | DRAW +270||Ov 2.5 (+112) | Un 2.5 (-136)|
Odds as of June 11 at DraftKings
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Martinez’s Selection Issues
While still among the favorites to win the competition, Belgium have some tricky selection decisions ahead of their opening match. Axel Witsel suffered an Achilles injury earlier this year, leaving a hole in midfield. Kevin De Bruyne’s facial injuries from the Champions League final make him a doubt to start on Saturday. Eden Hazard has been struggling for fitness since his move to Real Madrid, and it’s unclear what his role will be in this tournament.
As much talent as Martinez has at his disposal, the Red Devils are markedly weaker if De Bruyne and Hazard are unavailable. Expected to persevere with the back three, Russia may well matchup with their own version of a 3-4-2-1. This will not be as loaded with attacking players, however, and they will be looking to have minimal space behind the defense for Romelu Lukaku to exploit.
Best player in the Premier League for the second year in a row, as voted by his fellow players 🏆🏆
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 6, 2021
Russia is in relatively solid form, including a 1-0 win over Bulgaria in their final warm-up match. Drawing with Poland and beating Slovenia and Malta doesn’t tell us a great deal about their chances against an opponent as formidable as Belgium, however.
End to End
Belgium aren’t just going to dominate possession for the sake of it. Martinez’s side love to go forward, and in doing so, they leave space to be hit on the counter. Aleksandr Golovin has a big role to play when Russia get the opportunity to transition into attack, particularly with the lumbering Artem Dzyuba leading the line.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 10, 2021
Where other superior teams will suffocate the match with slow passing and meaningless possession, Belgium are likely to be more direct, giving opportunities to their opponent. Russia remarkably had the majority of possession in their last meeting with Belgium.
Stanislav Cherchesov isn’t blessed with great pace in his squad, which limits how dangerous Russia can be on the break, but it will be interesting to see how quickly they look to attack. With the wing-backs pushing high up the pitch, there will be space to exploit on the flanks against the slow-footed Belgium center-backs.
Belgium vs Russia Statistics
|Quarterfinals||Euro 2016 Performance||Group Stage|
|30||Points in Euro 2020 Qualifying||24|
|40||Goals Scored in Qualifying||33|
|3||Goals Conceded in Qualifying||8|
Belgium vs Russia Best Bet
Belgium have a well-deserved reputation as an attack-first team. It’s Roberto Martinez’s nature, and it’s a result of the talent in the squad. They throw more attacking stars on the pitch at one time than any other team in these Euros. Even with the usual caution that comes at the start of a tournament, there’s value to be had in backing over 2.5 total goals.
Russia conceded seven goals across their two qualifying matches against Belgium. Some things have changed with both teams since then, and Russia are coming into this match off a clean sheet in their final warm-up game, but they are overmatched here. This looks like an easy win for the Belgians.
Given the +112 odds, over 2.5 goals is our pick, but it’s easy to go for Belgium at -1 or even pushing it to -1.5 for a longer price.
Pick: Over 2.5 total goals (+112)