The first Saturday and Euro 2020 brings a treat for football fans with no fewer than three matches on the schedule. Wales and Switzerland kick things off on this festival of football when meeting at 14:00. The second match of the day pairs Denmark and Finland in Group B from 17:00 before the headline act sees Belgium and Russia go toe-to-toe from 20:00 GMT. Our team of football content writers focus on the main event for this preview, and we can’t wait to get started.
With the competition now in full swing following Turkey and Italy’s game on Friday night, there’s plenty to look forward to this weekend. Regardless of the scores to follow, it’s unlikely armchair fans will witness a match quite as interesting as this. Belgium have been hyped up as potential winners of the title and start as third favourites behind France and England. They certainly have the quality and form to win what would be their first European Championship if they make the final on 11 July at Wembley.
These teams have met seven times in the past, and Belgium are unbeaten to date. The head-to-head stats show five wins against two draws, and they will be eager to continue that run. The most recent game ended in a convincing 4-1 win for Belgium away from home, and the fact that came in the qualifiers for this tournament will give the players confidence. Will we see repeat or revenge on Saturday evening?
Belgium were top scorers in the qualifiers
Belgium were the highest scoring team in the qualifiers and breezed through a group that included Russia and Scotland, two teams that battled to save their place at Euro 2020. The Red Fury didn’t put a foot wrong during the build-up, doing exactly what was expected of them and securing a spot at this summer’s tournament almost without breaking a sweat. Their efforts caught the eye of pundits and former players who believe everything is in place to see Belgium finally live up to their potential and win a European title.
The Belgians have suffered only one defeat this season and are unbeaten in their last nine matches going into the competition. That run consists of seven wins and two draws. Their last defeat came in September 2020 against England in the Nations League when going down 2-1. We could see a repeat of that game at Euro 2020, and the Belgian fans would dearly love to see their team get their revenge when it matters. There’s every reason for followers to believe Belgium can make it to Wembley next month.
They signed off with a friendly win over Croatia, who are in the same group as the Three Lions. That match finished 1-0 last week with the winning goal scored by Romelu Lukaku. The striker has enjoyed a stunning season in Serie A and is one of the early favourites to win the Golden Boot at this competition.
Russia know they must improve
Russia has plans of getting out of Group B and making it to the knockout stages of the competition. They have a chance but know they face their toughest opponent in the opening match on Saturday evening. That’s not ideal, but if Russia can get something out of the game against Belgium, even a share of the spoils, it would put them in a fantastic position to progress to the next round, possibly as runners up.
Russia were strong in the qualifiers but finished second in their group behind Belgium and clear of Scotland. The campaign went as expected, with Russia picking up points, beating the teams around them in the pool but failing to lay a glove on Belgium, who finished as runaway winners and had things wrapped up early. They must be far more competitive on Saturday than they were back in 2019.
The Russians enter on the back of an unconvincing run of results. They have won only three of their ten most recent outings, that spell made up of four draws and three defeats. A 2-1 defeat to Slovakia was followed by a 1-1 draw in Poland on the opening day of this month before beating Bulgari 1-0 in a friendly warm-up match before turning their attentions to the match against Belgium.
Belgium v Russia prediction
The stats give followers of Belgium reason to be confident ahead of this match. They dealt with Russia without fuss in 2019 and arrive in fantastic form. Confidence is high in the camp, and the players will want to get off to a winning start and prove they are contenders to win Euro 2020 next month.
Russia will want to put their game against Belgium in qualifying to the back of their mind, and they can do that as it came almost two years ago now due to the delay. They will see this is a cup fina, a single match that could determine if they are able to get out of the group or not. Expect to see a battling performance. The Belgians have all the quality and, on paper, are the better team, but if they fail to take their opponents seriously, they could be in for a shock.
Euro 2020 odds
The pre-match betting for Belgium v Russia available at 22bet has a win for Belgium priced at odds of 1.656, making them favourites in the market. Russia can be backed at 5.6, or the draw is there if you can’t split the teams at this early stage, priced at 3.68.
There’s more than one way to bet on Saturday night’s main attraction with an impressive list of specials available. Some of the most popular options include both teams to score, Belgium to win on the handicap, Lukaku to score first and the correct score.
Whatever you are betting, we hope you enjoy the match, and it proves to be as entertaining as we all hope. Keep visiting 22bet for Euro 2020 previews and betting odds.
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