The UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign kicks-off on March 21 and the pick of Wednesday night’s matches looks to be Belgium vs Russia. Both teams will fancy their chances of qualifying for the finals from Group I, which is completed by Scotland, Kazakhstan, San Marino, and Cyprus.
Both teams will certainly take plenty of motivation from the 2018 World Cup, where the home team Russia excelled themselves in knocking out Spain in the round of last-16 to reach the quarter-finals. Of course, Belgium went one step closer to big-tournament success by reaching the semi-finals where they were beaten by the eventual winners France. They also beat England in the play-off for third and fourth place.
Check out our stats, analysis, and free tips for the Belgium vs Russia UEFA 2020 qualifier.
Belgium Home Form
Belgium went on to the 2018 World Cup having won their final two home matches against Egypt (3-0) and Costa Rica (4-1). They then picked up where they’d left off after the World Cup with home wins against Iceland (2-0) and Switzerland (2-1) in the UEFA Nations League sandwiching a 1-1 draw against The Netherlands in an international friendly.
Russia Away Form
It’s difficult to know just how much playing in front of their home fans helped the Russian players during the World Cup, but it’s fair to say that their form during it was much better than their form either side of it.
Russia lost their last away game before the World Cup 1-0 in Austria but, after a painful penalty shootout quarter-final loss to eventual finalist Croatia, they did beat Turkey on their travels next time out.
However, since then, they have slipped back into losing form, with a 3-0 away defeat to Germany in an international friendly and a 2-0 away defeat to Sweden in the UEFA Nations League.
They’ve also struggled against most world-class sides in the last couple of years, with France, Brazil, and Uruguay all scoring three goals against them.
Belgium vs Russia Head-To-Heads
This will be the fifth time that Belgium and Russia have played each other this century, with the first of those clashes resulting in a 3-2 win for Belgium at the 2002 World Cup. Belgium also won their 2010 friendly 2-0, and their 2014 World Cup match 1-0.
The fourth and final head-to-head was an international friendly in Russia in 2017 when the two teams drew 3-3.
Belgium vs Russia Best Bets
Belgium and Russia have at time struggled to break down defence-minded teams but, as both are likely to adopt the sort of attacking tactics that brought them so much success at the 2018 World Cup, this could hopefully be a very entertaining match. That means anything around even-money or slight odds-on about both teams to score certainly looks worth taking.
Their 3-3 draw in 2017 also suggests there could be plenty of goals, and Russia’s recent 5-1 win over the Czech Republic and Belgium’s recent seven-goal thriller with Switzerland are two more reasons why it could be worth betting on there to be over 3.5 goals and over 4.5 goals.